In The Crucible, Act III, what is the signifigance of this quote?"Do you know, Mr. Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trials is that the voice of Heaven is speaking through...

In The Crucible, Act III, what is the signifigance of this quote?

"Do you know, Mr. Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trials is that the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children?"

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

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I would say that the primary significance of the quote is that it shows the absolutism with which Danforth approaches the trials.  It never occurs to him that the girls could be lying, or that the evidence collected by the court could be suspect to questioning or scrutiny.  The quote is a reflection of how Danforth's court could not be committed to the idea of seeking justice and determining the validity of the charges being brought to it.  Danforth's insistence on the court's superiority and the idea of "the voice of Heaven" is one whereby he cannot accept any type of questioning of the court's motives.  At the same time, the significance of the quote is reflective of exactly what people like Proctor and Corey are facing in their uphill battle for truth.  If the court is so biased, and if the head magistrate is so driven to accept what is being offered as truth, then the court shows itself to have little hope for finding justice and the institutional fairness that a court and legal system must possess.  It is in quotes like this that Miller suggests truth and justice in Salem were going to be impossible to find given the lack of institutional control and checks featured in the Salem legal system of the time.

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