Hu-bris: n. Overbearing pride. Greek, excessive pride. The term “hubris” also known as excessive pride is a main theme in the play, “The Crucible”. The play was written by Arthur Miller, it is about the Salem witch trials and deciding who will live, while others perish. Three main characters in, “The Crucible”, are Reverend Hale, Elizabeth Proctor, and John Proctor, these three are the characters that display the most pride. The first character is Reverend Hale. Reverend Hale came to the town of Salem after being called to help with the few girls who had danced in the forest with Tituba.
Hale knew how to cure the girls and with that type of ability does come with a high amount of pride. “Goody Proctor, I have gone this three month like our Lord into the wilderness. I have sought a Christian way, for damnation’s doubled on a minister who counsels men to lie” (Miller 232). Hale talks highly of himself which is not necessarily a bad thing but it does reflect on his character. In return for how is pride shows he ends up quitting the court after John is convicted. “Hale: I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court! ” (Miller 234).
Hale quits because innocent people are being accused and he has set up many people to die when there is no proof. Hale’s pride is definitely Justified, instead of letting it get to his head he stopped once he realized what was really happening. The second character to have a high level of pride is Elizabeth Proctor. When Elizabeth came into court she was asked if her husband John had committed adultery. “No, sir”… “Elizabeth, I have confessed it! ” (Miller 223). Elizabeth lied for her husband to keep the pride she had and to keep him off the hook.
In the end of he play her husband is set to be hanged, the plays last line is her showing she is finally at peace. “He have goodness now, God forbid I take it from him” (Miller 240). She feels confident in John’s decisions and that nothing will hold them back anymore. Elizabeth was a woman who had to experience her husband commit adultery on her, and for her to come out strong and head held high her pride is Justified. John Proctor is the last character to portray high amounts of pride. John demonstrates pride throughout most of the play but shows it profusely in that last act, last scene.
Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! ” (Miller 240). When John is told that he will have to sign that he confessed and the paper will be put on the church door he goes mad. Reputation meant everything to the people back them and John did not want his sons and baby to come, to go through a difficult time. He wanted them to have pride, like him. John ends up ripping up the paper and Elizabeth is sobbing, knowing what will happen next. “Give them no tears! Tears pleasure them!
Show honor now, show a tony heart and sink with it” (Miller 240). John wants Elizabeth to stand tall and keep her pride, nobody should see her weak. John was a proud character who used his pride for good. Instead of harvesting it all he wanted others to have it, whether it was his family or others he took the high pride and made it worthwhile. All of the characters in Miller’s play had pride. John Proctor however uses it in a be afraid of the outcomes. In the final act his choices were not out of excessive pride but in a caring manner.
Having a high-held name was important to him but more mportant to his family so they would not have to suffer even more for his decisions. The title of the play corresponds to the theme of excessive pride in the play correctly. The definition of “crucible” is a place or situation in which different elements interact to produce something new. Different types of people had different types of pride which concluded into the outcome of the play. The main theme is having pride in who each of the characters are and their actions, Reverend Hale, Elizabeth Proctor, and John Proctor showed the readers this the most.