Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheater & Acting · 9 years ago

Can someone help me with playing the role of John Proctor?

I am playing John Proctor in a play and I'm struggling with getting into character. Can anyone give me any information about Puritan life that might help me with this? (Any major or minor specific details that I might have overlooked). Also is there any acting advice that anyone could offer to help me with my portrayal of this character? Perhaps former actors who have performed this play might know.

Thank you

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
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    I played John Proctor last year in The Crucible last year so should be able to offer some advice.

    Remember John is a convented Christian man at heart, but has a major sin which is slowly driving him away from the Puritan way of life. Adultery. He cheated on his wife with Abigail but regrets it deeply, think in Act I when he talks to Abigail again and she flirts with him, he tells her it was a mistake.

    John Proctor is ultimately a man of hipocracy. In Act II when he tries the stew, he seasons it and then says to Elizabeth "It is well seasoned" this is one of many examples.

    His dislike for Paris has made him not attend Church (A major Sin in Puritan life!) - this has caused him to be an Outsider in Salem. (Note how the Proctor household is outside of the town). He is a deeply guilty over his adultery

    When Elizabeth confronts him "You cannot pass her in church for you may blush" (or something on them lines) He then snaps back in a guilt fashion.

    So so far we know he is a man of Violence, Hipocracy and guilt.

    " I will whip you if you dare leave this house again"

    " Do you look for a whipping?"

    "It is well seasoned"

    "I may blush for my sins! "

    In the latter Acts (III AND IV) We see John Proctor as a tragic Hero. He see's that there is no witchcraft, his burning desire now is to save his Wife who he does love and the town!. He confronts Abigail in court and this time his guilt is overpowered by his desire to save his Wife.

    Calling Abigail a Whore he shows his Adultery (A Sin which punishment is death) ,

    On his final day before being executed he has the chance to save himself by confessing he is possesed. He can not bare this and tears up the confession . This shows how important his name is (the important monologue)

    "Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another one in my life" .

    " I now see a shred of light in John Proctor"

    He dies a tragic hero.

    In conclusion :

    He is a well respected man around the community.

    An outsider, he doesn't follow the monotonous ways of the Puritans.

    He is guilty,

    A short tempered man ,

    A loving man , a family man.

    A Poetic man ( I never touched on this, but when he talks to Elizabeth about walking and picking flowers)

    A Tragic Hero.


    Try Stanislavski's method of "The Magic IF", it will help springboard characterisation :)

    If you need any more advice ( I'm sure you know most of what I Said) feel free to contact me. Remember read the script and interpret!

    Good luck!

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