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Deputy Governor Danforth speaks with imperious authority. To demonstrate his power, he asserts rhetorically,
"Near to four hundred are in the jails from Marblehead to Lynn, and upon my signature...and seventy-two condemned to hang by that signature" (Act III).
Danforth tolerates no opposition in his courtroom, making this completely clear to Giles in admonishing,
"Now sit you down and take counsel with yourself, or you will be set in the jail until you decide to answer all questions...this is a court of law...I'll have no effrontery here!" (Act III).
Abigail's influence stems from her skill in manipulation and emotionalism. She defies Danforth, threatening,
"Let you beware, Mr. Danforth. Think you to be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits?" (Act III).
Later, after a theatrical demonstration feigning the vision of Mary Warren's evil spirit in the form of a bird, Abigail shows her power with a dramatically contrived action which speaks louder than any words could,
Abigail, out of her infinite charity, reaches out and draws the sobbing Mary to her" (Act III).
John Proctor's authority is shown most clearly in the moment before his death. Having nearly consented to lie to save his life, he remains steadfast in truth. His final words ring with power and integrity, as he urges Elizabeth to
"Give them no tear...show honor now, show a stony heart and sink them with it!" (Act IV).
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