Crucible Essay, Research Paper
Two honorable men: Giles Corey and John Proctor
In the seventeenth century Salem Massachusetts rumors had spread that people were practicing witchcraft and fears and suspicion soon followed. Then, the witch-hunts and trials resulted from all this talk of witchcraft. During the Salem trials, it would be impossible to defend ones position if accused of being a witch or if one had to try and defend a witch. But, Giles Corey and John Proctor are able to defy the impossible and display their heroic trait despite the accusations brought against them. This is what takes place in Author Miller?s play The Crucible.
In the play The Crucible, I feel that Giles Corey and John Proctor fulfill Joseph Campbell?s definition of a hero because they protect other peoples characters, and took responsibility for their own actions, even when it leads to their own death.
One heroic trait that both characters have is that they protect others. When Corey brings up an accusation against Thomas Putnam for using his daughter to cry witchery on others just to buy up their land, Danforth angrily demands Giles to submit his proof, the informant. But, he says he will not give a name without a proper lawyer. Then, when Ezkiel Cheevers tells Elizabeth that he will be taking her because of the poppet, John tries to stop Cheever to let him take her because Mary Warren has told Proctor that she owned the doll but had given it to Elizabeth. John Proctor knows this is not fair and is willing to fight for others to find justice.
Another heroic trait that both characters share is their faithfulness to one another in order to find justice. For example, Corey backs up John Proctor when arguing with Thomas Putnam about their ownership of land. After Proctor reminisces of when he took Corey to court for him publicly saying that John burned off Corey?s roof, Putnam argues with Proctor about how his lumber that Corey and him are dragging home is really on his grandfather?s property. But, Giles states: that ??Putnam?s grandfather had a habit of willing land that never belonged to him and that he and Proctor are ready to defend what is theirs.??(56) Giles Corey defends his position by stating ? that?s Gods truth; he nearly willed away my north pasture but he knew I?d break his fingers before he?d set his name to it. Let?s get your lumber home, John. I feel a sudden will to work coming on? (30). Corey strongly stands up against Putnam. Also, John displays his allegiance to Mary warren by trying to prove that Abigail is telling lies. In the courtroom, Abigail scares Warren by confessing that she can feel Warren practicing witchcraft on her. Proctor becomes frustrated and he cannot believe that the court is actually siding with Abigail. John Proctor and Giles Corey do not hesitate when it comes to standing up for justice and, they are willing to take the blame for their actions.
Also, Corey and Proctor do share the heroic trait of taking blame for their own actions. Corey shows this trait by being fearless when he did not answer aye or nay to his indictment of being a witch, in order to protect his friends that otherwise would be looked upon as liars and, they would be hung. Therefore, he sacrifices his own life by having stones laid upon him to crush his bones. John Proctor takes total responsibility for the lechery with Abigail Williams. John confesses to Elizabeth that he is not a good man and he has broken charity with her. But, Elizabeth refuses to believe that John can take total blame for their marriage problems and wants John about Abigail.
John stays honorable and declares I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It?s a fraud. I am not that man. My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten wrong before. (126)
So, he takes the blame upon his shoulders and admits to doing the Devils work. Then, Danforth asked John if he had ever seen Rebecca or anyone else do the Devil?s work and John states he has not. But, proctor tells him that he does not want to spoil their names. He explains that anyone person could have done the Devil?s work and not even know it. Even when the truth is confessed, John still tries to protect his friends. This is a heroic deed and both Giles Corey and John Proctor undoubtedly represent a hero as proved with these examples.
These two men showed great heroic traits and showed amazing character these were two extremely brave people that clearly define Campbell?s definition of a hero. I just wish there were more people like that in the world today.