The Crucible

John Proctor Character Analysis

A farmer, and the husband of Elizabeth. Proctor had an affair with Abigail Williams while she worked as a servant in his house. A powerful man in both build and character, Proctor refuses to follow people he considers hypocrites, including Reverend Parris. Feared and resented by the many people in Salem he has made feel foolish, Proctor has a powerful sense of personal integrity. For this reason, his affair with Abigail makes him see himself as a hypocrite.

John Proctor Quotes in The Crucible

The The Crucible quotes below are all either spoken by John Proctor or refer to John Proctor. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Crucible published in 2003.
Act 1 Quotes
I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God any more.
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker), Reverend Parris
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Crucible quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
I look for John Proctor that took me from my sleep and put knowledge in my heart! I never knew what pretense Salem was, I never knew the lying lessons I was taught by all these Christian women and their covenanted men! And now you bid me tear the light out of my eyes? I will not, I cannot! You loved me, John Proctor, and whatever sin it is, you love me yet!
Related Characters: Abigail Williams (speaker), John Proctor
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.


Act 2 Quotes
I'll plead no more! I see now your spirit twists around the single error of my life, and I will never tear it free!
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker), Elizabeth Proctor
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I like it not that Mr. Parris should lay his hand upon my baby. I see no light of God in that man. I'll not conceal it.
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker), Reverend Parris
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est lab

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

I'll tell you what's walking Salem—vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! This warrant's vengeance! I'll not give my wife to vengeance!
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker), Elizabeth Proctor
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Exc

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim

Act 3 Quotes
A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything, I know it now. I beg you, sir, I beg you—see her what she is . . . She thinks to dance with me on my wife's grave! And well she might, for I thought of her softly. God help me, I lusted, and there is a promise in such sweat. But it is a whore's vengeance.
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker), Elizabeth Proctor, Abigail Williams
Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu

A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud—God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together!
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker), Deputy Governor Danforth
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia dese

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupid

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis

Act 4 Quotes
I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs. Give them no tear! Tears pleasure them! Show honor now, show a stony heart and sink them with it!
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker)
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cu

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!
Related Characters: John Proctor (speaker), John Proctor
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteu

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire The Crucible LitChart as a printable PDF.
The crucible.pdf.medium

John Proctor Character Timeline in The Crucible

The timeline below shows where the character John Proctor appears in The Crucible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Parris asks Abigail why Elizabeth Proctor dismissed her from her job as an assistant in the Proctor household six months earlier.... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
...Betty says Abigail didn't tell that she drank blood as a charm to kill Elizabeth Proctor. Abigail smacks her across the face. She tells the other three girls that if they... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
John Proctor enters. He reprimands Mary, his servant, for leaving his house when he ordered her not... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
When he's alone with Abigail, Proctor mentions the town's rumors of witchcraft. Abigail dismisses them, steps closer to Proctor, and says... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
...Salem for spirits without first holding a meeting. The dispute erupts into an argument between Proctor, Putnam, Mrs. Putnam, Rebecca Nurse, and Parris about town politics and grievances. The argument covers... (full context)
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
...carrying a stack of religious books about witchcraft. He seems eager to flex his authority. Proctor departs, but not before saying he's heard Hale is a sensible man and that he... (full context)
Act 2
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Eight days later, John Proctor returns home late from planting the fields. He and Elizabeth talk about the coming crop... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Elizabeth continues: Mary Warren is in town, as an official of the court. Proctor is astonished: what court? Elizabeth explains: judges have been sent up from Boston to try... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
As Elizabeth continues to push Proctor to go to the judges, it comes out that he was alone with Abigail at... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Mary Warren enters. Proctor, already angry, threatens to whip her for disobeying his order not to go to town... (full context)
Hysteria Theme Icon
Proctor says that Sarah Good is just a "jabberer." But Mary says that Good "sent her... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
Proctor considers this weak evidence and tells Mary not to go to town again. Mary refuses.... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Proctor and Elizabeth know Abigail is behind the accusation. Elizabeth says Abigail wants to replace her... (full context)
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Suddenly Hale appears at the door, startling both Elizabeth and Proctor. Hale says that without the court's authority he's visiting each of the families "somewhat mentioned"... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Hale asks some questions about the "Christian character" of the house. He asks why the Proctors don't often go to church, and why only two of their three sons are baptized.... (full context)
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Just as Hale is about to leave, Elizabeth persuades Proctor to speak up about Abigail. The news shakes Hale, who points out that many have... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Proctor angrily rips up the warrant and orders Cheever and Herrick to leave his house, but... (full context)
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Hale assures Proctor that the court will recognize Elizabeth's innocence, and promises that he will testify in her... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
When they're alone, Proctor tells Mary she will testify against Abigail in court tomorrow. Mary says that Abigail will... (full context)
Act 3
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Nurse says they have proof the girls are frauds. Proctor and Mary Warren come forward. Parris tells Danforth that Proctor causes "mischief," while Hale begs... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Proctor tells Danforth that Mary is prepared to testify she never saw any spirits. Parris shouts... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Danforth, shocked, considers whether to accept this testimony in court. Proctor assures him his evidence is valid, but Ezekiel Cheever mentions that Proctor earlier ripped up... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
After a brief conference with Hathorne, Danforth informs Proctor that Elizabeth is pregnant, and therefore can't be hanged. He asks if Proctor will now... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Danforth agrees to hear the evidence. First, Proctor shows him a petition signed by 91 landowners declaring their good opinions of Elizabeth, Rebecca... (full context)
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Proctor brings Mary forward. Hale says this argument is so important Danforth should let a lawyer... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
...are lying. The girls are brought out to face Mary. Abigail denies the charge, but Proctor says Abigail has often laughed at prayer, and that Abigail and the other girls frequently... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
...other girls follow suit. They say Mary is sending her spirit to attack them. Furious, Proctor calls Abigail a whore. Proctor admits his affair with Abigail and says Elizabeth dismissed her... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Danforth sends for Elizabeth, whom Proctor says will never lie. While they wait, Danforth instructs everyone to remain absolutely still and... (full context)
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Hale says he believes Proctor, and that Elizabeth was just trying to protect his reputation, but Danforth will not hear... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Danforth demands that Proctor confess his allegiance to Hell. In response, Proctor says God is dead. Proctor then condemns... (full context)
Act 4
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
...learn from Herrick that he's with Hale, visiting those condemned to hang that morning, including Proctor and Rebecca Nurse. (full context)
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
...fears a similar riot in Salem now that people with social influence, like Rebecca and Proctor, are scheduled to hang. He begs to postpone the hangings. (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Danforth does wonder, however, if they might be able to get Proctor to confess, since Elizabeth is now well along in her pregnancy. As Marshal Herrick goes... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Elizabeth enters. Hale tells her he will consider himself Proctor's murderer if Proctor is hanged. Hale begs Elizabeth to convince Proctor to lie, to give... (full context)
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Proctor is brought from his cell and the others leave so he can spend some time... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Proctor asks what Elizabeth would think if he confessed. Unlike Rebecca and Martha Corey, who refuse... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Proctor decides to confess, though he knows he shouldn't. When they learn the news, Danforth, Hathorne,... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
They bring in Rebecca in hopes that Proctor's confession will sway her. She says a confession would be a lie, and prays for... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Danforth asks Proctor if he's seen Rebecca with the devil. Proctor says he hasn't. Danforth then asks if... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Danforth says the village must have proof. Proctor shouts that God has the proof, and that's enough. When Danforth persists, Proctor shouts that... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Danforth says if the confession is a lie, then it is no confession at all. Proctor rips the confession to pieces. Danforth orders Herrick to take Proctor to the gallows. Parris... (full context)