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What does Danforth represent in the play The Crucible?

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scrouse | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 14, 2012 at 7:51 PM via web

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What does Danforth represent in the play The Crucible?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:18 PM (Answer #1)

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Danforth does not get caught up in the mob mentality of the witch accusations and he appears to be a religious zealot only inasmuch as it is a byproduct of his role as the deputy governor. What that means is that he will agree with the hysterical religious accusers but only if their accusations agree with what the court has ruled. 

For Danforth, the court (even more than God) cannot be questioned. Despite being given ample evidence to dispute many of the accusations, Danforth refuses to listen because he is more concerned with the reputation of the court and his own political reputation. Danforth is a professional politician; more concerned with his reputation than what is logically and morally correct. He represents a thoughtless authority figure, one who thinks only of his own rank and the authority of the court rather than considering the actual evidence and the moral implications of his decisions. 

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