Crucible Essay - Buschbacher 1 Olivia Buschbacher Mrs Huynh...

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Buschbacher 1 Olivia Buschbacher Mrs. Huynh AP Language and Composition Period 8 6 October 2017 Eat, Pray, Witch Hunt “The catastrophe of the tragic hero thus becomes the catastrophe of the fifth-century man; all his furious energy and intellectual daring drive him on to this terrible discovery of his fundamental ignorance - he is not the measure of all things but the thing measured and found wanting” -Robert Fagles. The tragic hero described by Fagles is the brainchild of Aristotle. Aristotle was one of the most influential Western philosophers, who developed works in areas of logic, art, nature, psychology, ethics, and politics. The ancient Greek scholar took a scientific approach to poetry in Poetics by analysing its structure and organization. One concept founded by Aristotle was that of a tragic hero. This important character exists to evoke powerful emotions such as excitement, pity, and fear. This character plays an important role in any tragedy, allowing the audience to experience catharsis as they live vicariously through the story. The Crucible is an American play written in 1953 by Arthur Miller that dramatizes the events of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. The appearance of a tragic character in a period piece is especially important, as it helps the reader relate to a time period they may not be familiar with. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible , John Proctor serves the purpose of a tragic hero with his characteristics and final downfall. One of Aristotle’s requirements for a tragic figure is credibility through nobility and goodness. Proctor’s selflessness and confidence align with Aristotle’s positive ideals of a tragic figure. Although the name implies a cataclysmic ending, Aristotle insists that “the character will
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Buschbacher 2 be good if the purpose is good” (Aristotle XV). This implies that as long as the character has good intentions, they will be an effective “hero”. John Proctor is an extremely dynamic character in The Crucible , and his storyline is similar to that of the tragic pattern. John Proctor is a prime example of the Puritan work ethic. Proctor is a humble farmer hailing from the outskirts of
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