What conflict does Giles Corey encounter in The Crucible?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Giles Corey has a couple conflicts.  One is that he goes to court frequently in fights over his land.  He contends that one of the reasons for the trials is to get his land because Thomas Putnam wants it and has been trying to find ways to get it. A bigger conflict though is that Giles' wife, Martha, has been accused of witchcraft.  This is, of course, tied to the first conflict of the fight over land.  Giles defends his wife saying that she reads books, but that doesn't mean she's a witch.  Despite his protestations, his wife is convicted of witchcraft and hanged but not before he is tortured and killed. He is pressed to death because he refused to enter a plea of "innocent" or "guilty".  Entering a plea would have meant his land went to the town instead of to his sons and he wouldn't do that.