What is John Proctor's role and significance in The Crucible?

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John Proctor is a morally ambiguous character: on one hand, he cheated on his wife and still seems to have some feelings for his one-time mistress; on the other hand, he feels intense contrition and did confess his sin to his wife when she approached him with her suspicion. He does not go and tell the court what Abigail told him in secret, that the girls' activities in the woods were "only sport" because he doesn't want to hurt her, but this delay ultimately endangers his own wife, when Abigail accuses her of witchcraft, and, then, himself when he ends up going to court to defend his wife.

John has committed sins; he is already a "fraud" in his own eyes, and this leads him to consider confessing to witchcraft because that will, at least, preserve his life. What's one more sin? he figures. However, he ends up unable to go through with the lie. Instead, he says, "You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a...

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Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on November 26, 2019
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