John Proctor And Willy Loman: The Tragedies Of Two Common Men
John Proctor and Willy Loman: The Tragedies of Two Common Men
Are John Proctor and Willy Loman common men Are they tragic heroes Using
information from Arthur Miller?s essay, ?Tragedy and the Common Man?, both men can
be defined as common, and both men can be defined as tragic heroes. Miller?s essay also
characterizes the plays ?The Crucible? and ?Death of a Salesman? as tragedies in modern
According to Miller, the quality that shapes the image of the common man is one
that ?derives from the underlying fear of being displaced, the disaster inherent in being
torn away from our chosen image of what and who we are in this world? (Miller, Tragedy
of the Common Man). Both John Proctor and Willy Loman share this fear, and both
regard their reputations in society very highly. Proctor?s fear of being displaced is evident
in the last act when he refuses to sign the confession stating that he practiced witchcraft.
Procter declares, ?I have given you my soul; leave me my name!?(Miller, The Crucible,
Act IV). This quote implies that Procter values maintaining his chosen image as a good
and holy man over his soul, which in his religious society is also regarded very highly.
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