plz help me!!!how and why does giles corey interrupt the court proceedings? what does the response of the judges to him and francis nurse suggest about the way the trials are being conducted?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act Three, Giles Corey gets kicked out of the court after interrupting the proceedings to mention that he has evidence that Thomas Putnam is attempting a land grab. While Giles's wife is on trial, he stands up and begs the judges to hear his evidence before they remove him from the court into the vestry room, where the remainder of the scene takes place. In the vestry room, Giles says that the girls are telling lies about his wife and Francis Nurse joins the conversation to beg the judges to listen to their evidence that proves the girls are frauds. When Proctor presents Danforth with a list of names claiming that Elizabeth, Rebecca, and Martha Corey are honorable, morally-upright Christians, Danforth demands that Cheever write warrants for each person who signed the document. When Francis Nurse mentions that he has unknowingly hurt those people who signed the document, Danforth responds by saying,

No, old man, you have not hurt these people if they are of good conscience. But you must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. (Miller 94)

Danforth then reads Giles Corey's deposition claiming that someone overheard Thomas Putnam telling his daughter to accuse George Jacobs of witchcraft as a way to purchase his land. When Judge Hathorne demands to know the name of the man who overheard Thomas Putnam speaking to his daughter, Giles refuses to tell him out of fear that the man will be arrested. Danforth then arrests Giles for contempt of court for refusing to cooperate and release the name of the individual.

Danforth and Hathorne's responses to Giles and Francis suggest that the court is corrupt. Danforth and Hathorne have no interest in listening to the truth or conducting justice, but choose to unfairly wield their authority without being questioned. They are presented as corrupt, callous individuals, who are more concerned about their status and reputation than helping the community.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clearly the judges weren't as interested in hearing the truth as they were in getting rid of the sin of witchcraft.  Danforth, in practically the same breath, told Giles he had to follow the rule of law and that he didn't care what the law said. The test tells us the judges and the girls eat their meals together--a practice unheard of in this world, one guaranteed to skew the proceedings and unbalance the scales of justice.  If Giles Corey, the most litigious man in the entire region, is not able to get satisfaction in this court, no one else is going to get it.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The fraudulent nature of the trials is what is explored through the play.  One of the most powerful elements that are brought out is that if individuals in the position of power seek to abuse their control, trials can turn out to be exercises in corruption.  This helps to underscore the potential to abuse the legal system, and the need to protect it from such influences.  Giles Corey's interruptions are done in the name of making right what has been twisted into so much wrong.