How did Giles Corey and Francis Nurse try to save their wives?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Act 3 of "The Crucible," by Arthur Miller, both Giles Corey and Francis Nurse try to save their wives from being convicted of witchcraft.

Both Corey and Nurse go along with John Proctor, whose wife has also been accused, to the court.  With them, they take a petition that has been signed by ninety one members of the community.  All ninety one declare their "good opinion" of the three women.

However, it's no use. Instead of taking the petition as evidence of the women's innocence, Danforth, Parris, and Hathorne use it as evidence that the ninety one are trying to overthrow the court.  All the signers will be brought in for questioning.

I should also mention that Corey accuses Putnam of accusing people for his own gain and Nurse argues that the girls led by Abigail are frauds.  This is before they present the petition.

thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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Francis, Giles, and Proctor presented a joint testament signed by ninety-one landholding farmers who were also members of the church. The testimony by the people affirmed that their wives were reputable members of the society. In addition, the testimony suggested that the women were not known to deal in witchcraft. However, the attempt to save their wives did not go as planned and the ninety-one farmers were also to be arrested for questioning.

Francis: I have brought trouble on these people; I have -

Giles asked John to hand the judge his deposition. The deposition accused Mr. Putnam of killing people for their land. The aim of Giles’ deposition was to bring disrepute to the evidence presented by the girls by showing that they were being manipulated by malicious individuals. The men expected that if this was confirmed by the court, then the entire case would fall apart. However, Giles’ efforts were unsuccessful after he failed to name the individual who knew of Mr. Putnam’s conspiracy.

Giles, pointing at his deposition: The proof is there! I have it from an honest man who heard Putnam say it! The day his daughter cried out on Jacobs, he said she’d given him a fair gift of land.

The men finally presented Mary Warren as a witness. Mary Warren knew that the girls were pretending because she was a member of the group and previously participated in the theatrics. She, however, had a change of heart after being convinced by Proctor to state the truth. Mary Warren tried to speak the truth, but she eventually yielded to the girls’ manipulation.

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