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In "The Crucible", how do the judges discourage anyone from defending the...

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lisak1993 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 15, 2008 at 9:47 AM via web

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In "The Crucible", how do the judges discourage anyone from defending the good character or innocence of a person accused of witchcraft?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 15, 2008 at 11:09 AM (Answer #1)

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1.  "Mr. Cheever, have warrants drawn for all of these-arrest for examination."  This is Danforth's response to those who signed a petition that stating that they "never saw no sign [the arrested women] had dealings with the Devil."

2.  "I have no choice but to arrest you for contempt of this court."  This is Danforth again, arresting Giles, who attempts to prove Putnam is "killing his neighbors for their land." 

3.  "Do you not know that God damns all liars?"  This is Danforth speaking with Mary Warren, and not very encouraging words, as she tries to defraud the others.  Later, Hawthorne and Parris pressure her to "pretend to faint now" and when she can't, conclude that "this is a trick to blind the court!"  Danforth later turns on Mary's attempt, asking "do you send your spirit out?"  They could've at least encouraged and supported her a bit, sheesh!

4.  Instead of believing Proctor's confession of adultery, they have to bring in his wife to confirm it:  "Is your husband a lecher!"  Elizabeth lies and they believe her (they seem predisposed to), and then Mary turns on John. 

The judges effectively, under the guise of logic and calm, shut down anyone trying to prove their original convictions wrong.

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