After John Proctor confesses, what does Danforth want him to do?
Towards the end of Act Four, John Proctor reluctantly confesses to seeing the Devil and admits that he did the Devil's bidding. Deputy Governor Danforth then begins to ask John Proctor if he saw Rebecca Nurse or Martha Corey with the Devil, and Proctor denies ever seeing them involved in witchcraft. Proctor's refusal to accuse other citizens of witchcraft upsets Danforth, who then asks John to sign his testimony. John Proctor refuses to sign his confession, however, because he thinks it is unnecessary. Proctor understands that his signed testimony will be used to influence others to give false confessions, which will make the Court seem just. John also realizes that his name will forever be tarnished if he signs the confession. Before giving his confession to Danforth, John Proctor tears up his testimony and dies a martyr.
Danforth insists that John sign a written confession that will be posted on the church door. He claims that he must have concrete evidence of John's confession to be used for the instruction others convicted of witchcraft so that they would see his confession and perhaps follow with their own.
John initially signs the confession, but then rips it, saying he cannot give up his good name. To confess would not only harm his own reputation, but that of his children. Also, to confess and lie in order to live would be an insult to those who have died for telling the truth.