What would be a good and detailed description of Judge Danforth in Acts 3 and 4 of "The Crucible"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would say that a good and detailed description of Danforth has to include his vigorous defense of his proceedings.  He is not afraid to associate his own "name" with them.   He sees the protestations of Proctor, Corey, and Francis Nurse as a direct attack on himself and his proceedings.  He continues to ask Proctor if he holds some larger purpose.  In doing this, Danforth constructs a dualism where one is either in support of the court or against it.  Danforth does not see a third option.  It is for this reason why he cannot fully fathom why Hale and Parris would be so driven to obtain Proctor's confession.  It is evident in Act IV that the events in Andover and Abigail's own departure have thrown the entire proceedings and the "pursuit of justice" into doubt.  Yet, he insists on moving forth with the executions for others had been executed and nothing should slow down the machine to which he has staked his reputation and name.  It is interesting to see Danforth and Proctor essentially fight for the same thing.  Both of them are committed to maintaining their "name" and the idea that their associations with their beliefs matter.  Proctor believes this about his own private matters, while Danforth believes this about the public nature of his proceedings.  I think that a detailed description has to go into the lengths to which he pursues to maintain his own concept of "name."

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