What happens to Giles Corey in the third act?

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rowens's profile pic

rowens | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Giles is convicted of contempt of court for refusing to reveal the source whom he claims overheard a conversation between Thomas Putnam and another man wherein Putnum admitted to prompting his daughter to cry witch against their neighbor, Mr. Jacobs, in order to obtain is land.

In an effort to force Giles Corey into naming his witness, the court tortures him by a method called pressing that is laying heavier and heavier stone weights upon the chest of the person being questioned. Corey's last words before the stones crush his ribcage are "More weight." He dies without ever revealing his source.

Interestingly, the real Corey was held in contempt of court for a different reason. He himself stood accused of witchcraft, and knowing that a confession or a plea of not guilty would ultimately lead to his being found guilty and the forfeiture of his land to the court, he refused to enter a plea. This way, even though he died, his sons could still inherit his property, since it was never confiscated by the court.

laurto's profile pic

laurto | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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He was pressed to death. This means that heavy rocks were put on him. His last words were "More weight."

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jsmooth | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

what explanation does cheever give parris "mad loook"?

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