In Act Three, why is Giles Corey accused of contempt in court?  

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act Three, Giles Corey interrupts the court by yelling out that he has evidence that Thomas Putnam is attempting a land grab. Danforth immediately yells for the Marshal to remove Giles from the court and he is thrown out. Outside of the court, Giles Corey holds up his deposition that states that someone overheard Thomas Putnam instructing his daughter to accuse Jacobs of witchcraft in order to take his land. When Hathorne asks Giles to give him the name of the man who overheard Thomas make the comment, Giles refuses. Giles Corey explains that he cannot give the name because the man will be arrested and thrown in prison. Danforth then says he has no choice but to charge Giles Corey with contempt of court. Unfortunately, Giles is arrested and eventually gets pressed to death by heavy stones after refusing to admit that he was involved in witchcraft. 

teacherscribe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Giles has a deposition written by someone saying they overheard Putnam convince his daughter to accuse someone of withcraft so he could then get their land. Since Giles won\'t tell Danforth who his source is (that person would then be brought in front of the court and likely face charges of witchraft too), he finds Giles in contempt of court. Giles is placed in jail where they attempt to \"press\" the name of the person out of him by placing large rocks on his chest. Yet, he never gives up the person.