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Please help me analyze this quote from Arthur Miller's play The Crucibe "..But you...

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brad9090 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:25 PM via web

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Please help me analyze this quote from Arthur Miller's play The Crucibe

"..But you must understand sir that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it. There will be no road between."

I need page number and who said it.

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 9, 2009 at 1:24 AM (Answer #1)

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This quote is from Act 3 and Scene 1 of "The Crucible."  In my edition it is on page 87.   The quote is made by Deputy Governor Danforth  and the complete quotation follows.

"A person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time — we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world."

There is a great deal more information on this play at the following links.  Thanks for your question.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 24, 2014 at 9:41 PM (Answer #3)

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This quote from Act 3 Sc. 1 from Arthur Miller's The Crucible" is said by Deputy Governor Danforth, and it basically epitomizes the type of justice that is conducted in Salem: radical and senseless. All in Salem is either good or bad, without a middle point. Therefore, what is not good is necessarily going to be seen as evil.

a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between.
The authority that Danforth claims is the sanctioning by God of the colony of Massachussets. If God has granted the permission to exert justice against those against God, then there is no stopping to the process. It must be done.
Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.

In Dansforth's mind, God is conducting the witch trial using the aldermen as His mouthpiece. Anyone who is against what the court decides, is against God himself. Hence, the illogical reasoning of the villagers concludes that whoever is against God is by default consulting with the Devil. It is as radical as that, and there is no "road between" as he stated.

Sources:

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