In Act Three of "The Crucible" who shows courage? Explain how they show it.

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Almost all of the people that go to that courtroom and try to present evidence that proves the accusations of witchcraft are false show great courage.  This courtroom has arrested hundreds of people, and is holding them all in jail.  On their word they can sentence people to die.  And yet, despite this formidable power that the court holds, a group of people still went to the courts to try to prove them all that they were wrong.  Here's a list of courageous people, and what they did:

1.  Giles Corey courageously asserted that Thomas Putnam was accusing people just to get their land when they were convicted of witchcraft.  And, even more courageously, he refused to give up the name of the person that heard Putnam say it.  So, to protect a witness that came forward with Putnam's insidious plans, Corey is arrested.  He would rather go to jail himself than expose one more person the courts.  He had courage to accuse such a powerful man in the courts (Putnam was rich and powerful, and a helper to the courts) and courage to not back down and give an innocent man's names to those same courts for fear they would harm the guy.

2.  John Proctor showed tremendous courage when he confessed to adultery in an attempt to show the courts how corrupt their precious Abby was.  He would rather expose his dirty secret and be shunned and shamed than let another innocent person die at Abby's hands.  This confession, in front of the intimidating courts, in front of Abby's uncle (and the Reverend who he hates so much), and everyone else, was incredibly brave.

3.  Francis Nurse is brave to show up with his petition that attested to his wife's innocence.  It was a defiant and daring act.

4.  Mary Warren, BEFORE SHE TURNED, was very brave.  She knew that she was going to face Abby's wrath for exposing her, she knew that Abby might turn on her, she knew that she might get accused of being a witch herself.  But, she tried anyway. Unfortunately, her courage fails her.

5.  Reverend Hale shows courage at the end by quitting the court.  It was a high court, filled with ruling judges, and to quit it would certainly be a blow to his career and reputation.  But his conscience would not let him be part of such corruption anymore, and he bravely quits.

I hope that helps; good luck.