It is not power that corrupts but fear.also discuss in this topic How to manage conflict. thanks

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Power is what corrupts the magistrate. Fear is what compels the people of Salem to go along with the rulings of the court. 

I do not believe we can reasonably argue that Danforth was led into his great hubris by any kind of fear unless that is the fear of losing his authority. The reason he can persist in persecuting innocent people is because he feels that the moral code which would prohibit punishing the innocent does not apply to him. He is above the moral aspects of the law and is concerned, it would seem, only in maintaining the authority of his position as judge.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It could be the fear of power...  The girls have the power because they are claiming witchcraft which can not be proven.  The court seems automatically to believe everything the girls say and nothing the defendents offer as defense.  It is a lose-lose situation for them.

This is especially true since even when the court is questioned, every question is an attack on the court.  Hale asks at one point, "Is every question an attack on the court?"  The court, even after it realizes its error, can not go back and change anything since innocent people have already died.  Those who have been sentenced to die must die as a protective measure for the court's reputation.  Thank goodness today, people will admit their mistakes...sooner or later.

Puritan society left no room for mistakes or forgiveness.  This is part of the problem and the reason so many died without good reason.

As far as managing conflict, my grandmother used to always say, "You can not control what happens to you.  You can only control how you react to it." 

It's OK to be angry or to feel any other emotion, but before you speak and communicate these emotions, it is always a good idea to take a few deep breaths and gather your thoughts.  Consider how you will deliver your words as well as the words you will say--tone of voice and body language say as much or more than the words you use. 

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