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In The Crucible, what is going to happen to the 91 people who signed the testament...

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babyryan95 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:07 AM via web

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In The Crucible, what is going to happen to the 91 people who signed the testament giving a good opinion of Elizaeth, Martha Corey, and Rebecca Nurse?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 10, 2013 at 6:05 AM (Answer #1)

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The answer to this question can be found in Act III, when John Proctor, Giles Corey and Francis Nurse go to the court and speak to Danforth directly about the arrest of their wives for witchcraft. The testament that Proctor hands to Danforth is the first piece of evidence as to their wives' good character, and includes the names of 91 "covenanted Christians" who have known the women for many years and never seen them engage in any form of witchcraft. Unfortunately, Danforth, encouraged by Parris and Hathorne, see this as suspicious, and orders that each one of these should be arrested for questioning:

Mr. Cheever, have warrants drawn for all of these--arrest for examination.

In Danforth's opinion, if they are good Christians, then they have nothing to fear from the court. In fact, they will be happy to be questioned. He is so full of the opinion that the court is God's hand in Salem that he cannot even see how arresting these 91 people might be considered to be a rather exaggerated response to this situation. This of course supports the theme of hysteria that is raised so powerfully in this work.

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