In act 3 of The Crucible, why does Giles Corey interrupt Judge Hathorne?

In act 3 of The Crucible, Giles Corey interrupts Judge Hathorne and the court's operation in order to bring evidence that will exonerate his wife and others, as he knows that people are being accused of witchcraft in an effort to take up their land. He also cannot stand the thought of playing a role in wrongfully sending his wife, Martha, to her death.

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In act 3 of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Giley Corey is a desperate man. He, along with others, interrupts the court’s proceedings in order to save his wife and others who have been falsely accused of witchcraft.

Judge Hathorne questions Martha Corey, claiming that there is evidence of her guilt. She denies being a witch, but Hathorne persists. Giles goes to court to save his wife. He feels extreme guilt, blaming himself for her being there, and he cannot live with himself if his wife is hanged. Giles is a man who says what he feels and is no diplomat, so he appears from the start to be “contentious,” as Parris calls him. Thus, his attitude does not help him to make his case, for he is perceived as disrespectfully challenging the law. When Martha claims that she does not hurt the children, Giles screams that he has evidence to present. Ignoring Danforth’s warning, he continues with an accusation against Thomas Putnam. After Danforth calls for his removal, Giles insists that the court is entertaining lies, which prompts Hathorne to call for his arrest. Herrick dutifully removes Giles from the room, but he will not keep silent. He must save his wife.

Giles tries to explain that he previously meant no harm in mentioning that Martha reads books—he certainly did not intend to accuse her of consorting with the devil. He bears the guilt of having “broke charity with her,” and he feels quite ashamed. Giles brings evidence that the rumors of witchcraft are false, but he is frustrated that the authorities do not believe him. Although Reverend Hale asks that the evidence be heard, it is clear that the court is not ready for it. Francis mentions that they have come to court for three days, and no one will listen to them.

All Giles and the others want is for Mary Warren to tell the truth so that the innocent can be freed. They feel there is no other way than to interrupt the court.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 16, 2021
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