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.
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: 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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
...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)
...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)
...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)