In act III of "The Crucible," how does John Proctor stand up for other citizens' rights?
This takes place in the court with Judge Danforth, John Proctor, Mary Warren, Abby and the girls, Giles Cory, and Francis Nurse when Proctor says that he can't drop the charge because his friends' wives are going to hang also.
In Act III, Proctor, Nurse and Corey go to court armed with a petition signed by 91 people who have vouched for their wives Christian characters.
John Proctor is told by the court that his wife, Elizabeth has told them that she is pregnant. The court informs him that Elizabeth is safe until she delivers the child.
He is then asked by the court if he will drop the charge against the court that the charges against everyone in jail are false.
He says that he cannot drop his claim against the court because he will not abandon his friends Francis Nurse and Giles Corey.
Proctor, once in court, realizes that they are standing firm in their pursuit of the charges against the innocent people who are in jail. Proctor is determined to help Nurse and Corey, believing that once Mary Warren gives her testimony that the court will see that they have been wrong in their accusation of witchcraft.
Proctor wants to discredit Abigail, the leader of the group that has accused many innocent people of witchcraft, including his wife Elizabeth. Proctor proclaims in court that he had an adulterous affair with Abigail, he tells the court that Abigail told him that there was no witchcraft involved in the woods.
Proctor sacrifices his reputation by publicly confessing to adultery, or lechery, a crime in order to help save the innocent people who are jailed for witchcraft.
In this act, Proctor demonstrates selflessness by refusing to drop the charges against the girls, thus endangering his own life. Proctor approaches the court with signed affidavits from townspeople who attest to the accused women's Chritianity and good character. In response, Judge Danforth informs Proctor that his wife is in no danger of hanging any time soon because she is pregnant. He then infers that if Proctor dismisses the charge that the girls are lying about the women, he will not draw any attention to himself and will avoid potentially being prosecuted. Proctor rejects Danforth's proposition and continues with his fight for justice. In his struggle to defend the women's lives and reputation, Proctor ends up being arrested himself.