The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Act IV: Why does Proctor confess? Why will he not name names? Why will he not let Danforth have his signed paper?

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In act 4, John Proctor reluctantly confesses for two significant reasons. The first reason Proctor confesses is to save his own life so that he can provide for his family. The second reason he decides to confess is because he doesn't feel righteous enough to die as a martyr like Rebecca Nurse or Martha Corey. Proctor tells his wife,

"I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint. It is a fraud. I am not that man." (Miller, 137)

When Danforth begins to question Proctor about whether other citizens were involved in witchcraft, Proctor refuses to accuse them because he knows they are innocent. Proctor is aware that the court is corrupt and refuses to accuse innocent Christians, as this will only support the same court he is challenging. Proctor does not want to have Rebecca or Martha's blood on his hands and already feels overwhelmed with guilt. He is also friends with Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey and refuses to falsely accuse them. He tells Danforth,

"I have three children - how may I teach them...

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