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There is an old saying that goes: "we are our own worst enemies." In relation to The Crucible, a play written by Arthur Miller, it corresponds to the characters in the play perfectly. John Proctor, a historical figure in the play, is "his own worst enemy" in every aspect. Proctor’s extreme honesty and exuberant dignity comes back at the end of the play to haunt him, which directly leads to his tragic death.
Proctor’s honesty ironically is one of the factor that causes him to become "his own worst enemy." His candid remarks toward Reverend Parris, pointing out that "many others who stay away from church these days (is) because you (Parris) hardly mention God anymore." Anyone on the receiving end of such blunt criticism is bound to resent it. And Reverend Parris did show resentment by retaliating at the end. He testified against Proctor, claiming that "this man is blackening my name", and constantly taking stabs at Proctor’s defense, for he appears not to quit until Proctor is finally driven to the end. But this was not the only situation in which his honest personality have betrayed him. John Proctor was heading toward despair at the opening scene of the play, as the readers later found out that he had committed adultery with Abigail. But he did not honestly tell his wife, Elizabeth, the truth until the midst of the play. This later had influence to the turning point of the play as Elizabeth confront to Danforth that Proctor did not commit any sins, when in fact she is just trying to protect him. What she doesn’t realize is that John had already confessed his sins to Danforth, therefore, Elizabeth’s testimony imply that John was a liar. As a consequence, John was convicted and was sentenced to be hang. John Proctor’s honesty have been a factor in depicting that he is indeed his "own worst enemy".
In the same manner, John Proctor’s exuberant sense of dignity have also been a factor leading him to become "his own worst enemy". Even after committing such nefarious acts of sins, he still have extreme pride and dignity for his name. Therefore, he refuses to sign "[himself] to lies", and have consequently denied the convictions. Danforth demands that he has to have "legal proof" of his conviction in order for it to be certify. But Proctor’s sense of pride is forbidding him to sign his name on lies, and he is willing to accept the consequence of being "hang high over the town". Proctor, "with a cried of his own soul", claimed that "I have given you my soul; leave me my name!". Nevertheless, Danforth demanded that Proctor be hung. His dignity have cost him to lose "the greatest give God can give to men, life". Thus, his dignity have also become a factor in portraying that he evidently is his "own worst enemy".
Therefore, it is clear that John Proctor is indeed "his worst enemy" in The Crucible. With his high sense of honesty and dignity, the incidents that have been influenced by these characteristics have all turned out against Proctor. These incidents eventually lead him to his finally breathe, as "the new sun is pouring in upon her face, and the drums rattle like bones in the morning air".
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Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor, Proctor, Samuel Parris
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