Who is cited for contempt of court for refusing to identify an informant?

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

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Giles Corey is cited for contempt of the court in the legal proceedings in Salem.  Act III is where this happens.  The basis of it is that Corey brings a deposition in which he levies charges against Putnam that he is using the witch trials to control more property in Salem and gain greater control.  Putnam denies any such conspiracy.  For his part, Corey is able to generate a witness to such a revelation.  It becomes clear that if Corey names the witness, the witness will be brought up on charges.  Through this, Corey does not acquiesce to the court's demands.  He refuses to name the witness.  The significance of this is that Corey withstands the pressure of the court.  When Danforth proclaims that either individuals are with the court or against them, Corey understands that if he surrenders the name of the informant, more trouble will be brought to the individual.  It becomes a matter of principle in a setting where there is not much of it that Corey has to withhold the name of his informant.  In this, Corey demonstrates his humanity in the opposition to the court, causing him to be cited for contempt.


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