Why Did John Proctor Decide to Rip Up His Signed Confession in Act 4 of the Crucible

John proctor is a good man.
Despite his confessions to the court they continue to question him and leave him With 2 choices, to Confess to witchcraft or stay true to his belief. He is confused by what he wants and what is right. All he wants is to keep his honor which he refers as his name. Hale asks Elizabeth to speak to proctor and convince him to confess. Yet when she speak proctor he tells her “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man.
My honesty is broke, Elizabeth; I am no good man. Nothing’s spoiled by giving them this lie that were not rotten long before. Page 204″.John proctor believes he is not an honest man but he wants to do what’s right. Elizabeth tells him “Do what you will. But let none be your judge. There be no higher judge under Heaven that Proctor is! Forgive me, forgive me, John – I never knew such goodness in the world! Page 204”.

She’s telling him that is his choice to lie or say the truth and not the courts. If he lied it was him who has to live with that decision and not the court. At first he was fine with his confession but ones he was told it was to be posted on the church with his signature he changed his mind and stay true to his belief.They asked him why he would not allow is. John proctor answered, “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! “Proctor felt that the court had taken everything and the only thing he had to himself was his name. He knows there’s a difference with the court saying he is guilty of witchcraft and a paper with his own signature.He says he’s not worth a dust because while the other innocents died he chose to be a coward and give in.
Besides the fact that reputation was very important at the time these events lead to him tear up the paper. He said “I can. And there’s your first marvel, that I can. You have made you magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to wave a banner with, but enough to keep it from such dogs”. You can tell that he had a changed in character and was now true to himself. By ripping the paper he was keeping his honor and showing the goodness in him.

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