Quotations John Proctor


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Quotations John Proctor

  1. 1. John Proctor Act/Page Quotation Ideas / Point / Analysis / Explanation ACT 1 p. 17 “No, No, Abby. That’s done with.” Repeating ‘no’ to Abigail emphasises his feelings of guilt. p.18 “Abby, I may think of you softly from time to time. But I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach for you again.” Proctor says this to Abigail. He uses an extreme, bloody image to emphasise the strength of his determination never to do this again. p.22 “This society will not be a bag to swing around your head, Mr Putnam.” Proctor is calling out people for what they are; he sees what the Putnam’s are trying to do. p.22 “You hardly ever mention God anymore.” Proctor to Parris – revealing that Parris talkings about Hell and Damnation but never about God’s charitable side. p24 “Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!” [Proctor speaking to Parris] As above. p.31 “I’ve heard you to be a sensible man, Mr Hale. I hope you’ll leave some of it in Salem.” Develops the idea that Proctor may think the village of Salem is going crazy. p.35 “ I do not think I saw you at Sabbath meeting since snow flew.” This shows us that Proctor is rarely at church. p35 “Why then I must find it and join it.” Shows us he is very straight talking. ACT 2 p41 “Are you well today?” Interested/concerned for Elizabeth and trying to make amends. p.41 Stage Directions describe him tasting the stew, then state: “He is not quite pleased. He ... takes a pinch of salt, and drops it into the pot.” He is not satisfied. Elizabeth lacks in passion. p42 “I mean to please you, Elizabeth” A sense of Proctor trying to be a good husband, and trying to make amends. Elizabeth is distant, only waiting on him as a good wife, giving him the bare minimum. p.42 “He gets up, goes to her, kisses her. She receives it. With a certain disappointment, he returns to the table. The stage directions show the awkwardness between Proctor and Elizabeth. p.42 “Massachusetts is a beauty in the spring!” Proctor gets romantic; Elizabeth however is short and abrupt. p.45 “still an everlasting funeral marches round your heart.” Proctor is still ashamed and guilty for his affair, and is trying to make it up to Elizabeth. He feels that she cannot forgive him, and is suspicious of him still. p.45 “as though I come into a court when I come into this house!” Proctor is beginning to regret his confession to Elizabeth. p.45 After Proctor asks Elizabeth to look sometimes for the goodness in him, she says: “I do not judge you. The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you.” Elizabeth has some insight into how sinful and guilty John feels over the affair with Abigail. p.52 “If the crop is good I’ll buy George Jacob’s heifer. How would that please you?” He is trying to please Elizabeth.
  2. 2. p.56 “And why not, if they must hang for denyin’ it? There are them that will swear to anything before they’ll hang; have you never thought of that?” Proctor is intelligent and understands the truth of what is happening. p.63 “You are a broken minister” Proctor to Hale. Originally Proctor thought Hale would bring sense to the village instead of destruction – but Hale is oblivious to the girls’ tricks. p.63 “Is the accuser always holy now?” Proctor to Hale. John uses rhetorical questions to emphasise his point. p.63 “Were they born this morning as clean as God’s fingers?” Proctor pointing out to Hale that the girls might not be as holy as everyone thinks. p.63 “Vengeance is walking Salem.” Proctor talking about Abigail’s vengeance. p.63 “but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!” Proctor clearly identifies what is happening. The kingdom = Salem, and the girls are in control. p.64 “We will slide together into our pit; you will tell the court what you know.” Proctor is prepared to lose his reputation, in order to save Elizabeth. p.64 “I will fall like an ocean on that court! Fear nothing Elizabeth.” Strong imagery shows the strength of Proctor’s feelings. p.66 “My wife will never die for me! I will bring your guts into your mouth but that goodness will not die for me!” Proctor’s violent language shows the strength of his feeling for Elizabeth, and his respect for her. p.66 “God’s icy wind, will blow!” Proctor speaks to the open sky – the lies will be revealed. Very religious – Proctor’s sense of divine justice – idea of the earthly court and the divine court. ACT 3 p.74 “That woman will never lie” Proctor to Danforth. He has complete faith in, and respect for, his wife Elizabeth. p.76 “Do that which is good, and no harm shall come to thee.” Proctor to Mary, reassuring Mary that the truth prevails and won’t get her hurt. It is what the Angel Raphael said to the boy Tobias. p.88 “In the proper place – where my beasts are bedded.” Proctor to Danforth. Proctor has profound shame over the act with Abigail, and so compares this with the base actions of beasts. p.89 “She thinks to dance with me on my wife’s grave!” Proctor’s imagery shows his understanding of Abigail’s true motives. p.89 “I have rung the doom of my good name” Proctor’s imagery shows how aware he is that he has given up his reputation, now that he is concerned with saving Elizabeth and his friends. p.96 “You are pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore!” Although Proctor is being accused of doing the Devil’s work, the true situation is the reverse – they are doing the devil’s work.
  3. 3. ACT 4 p109 “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud.” Proctor to Elizabeth. He does not feel he is good enough to die with those who have integrity and so are prepared to die rather than lie. p.109 “My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man.” Proctor has not forgiven himself and so can still not see any good in himself. p.109 Elizabeth to John: “And yet you’ve not confessed till now. That speak goodness in you.” Elizabeth recognises the good in Proctor, even though he cannot see it. p.109 Elizabeth to John: “Whatever you will do, it is a good man does it.” As above. p111 “if tongues of fire were singeing you you would not!” Proctor uses powerful imagery to show how strongly he believes in Elizabeth’s good moral qualities – as opposed to the low opinion he has of himself. p.113 “I speak my own sins; I cannot judge another.” Proctor has integrity – he will condemn himself but he will not betray others. p.114 “You will not use me!” Proctor is not prepared to let them use him for their destructive ends. If he signs, his friends who are to hang will not be seen as innocent. p. 115 “Because it is my name ... How may I live without my name?” Rhetorical question to convey Proctor’s anguish. p.115 “And there’s your first marvel, that I can.” John has now found the courage that he needs, to act in accordance with his conscience. p.116 “I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor.” Proctor has chosen to die for truth, for his good reputation, and for those he cares about. He has found courage. He can at last see some good in himself, and has forgiven himself his weakness. p.116 Elizabeth, while watching Proctor: “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!” Elizabeth recognises that although Proctor is losing his life, he has found his goodness and integrity. p.116 “The final drumroll crashes, then heightens violently.” Miller makes effective use of both sound in the closing moments of the play to heighten the tension. p.116 “and the new sun is pouring in upon her face” Miller includes a symbol of hope and good overcoming evil: the morning sun on Elizabeth’s face. Stage Directions Act 4 “The emotion flowing between them prevents anyone from speaking for an instant.” p 107 “He stands, as though in physical pain” p 109 (in agony) p 110 “In great pain, he turns back to her” p 110 “turns his face to the wall” 112 “His breath heaving with agonised breathing” p114 “a wild terror is rising in him, and a boundless anger.” p114 (with a cry of his whole soul)p115 (hysterically, as though tearing the paper were his life) p.115 Stage directions are a crucial element in conveying the tragic hero’s inner conflict during the play’s climactic final part.