What is the importance of John Proctor's last speech in Act III of "The Crucible"?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This last act serves as the climax and resolution of the play. John Proctor's conflicts that he's been struggling throughout the play with are resolved. Proctor has confessed to being a witch, but he refused to name anyone else and ruin their reputation. They then want Proctor to sign his name to a written confession, nail it on the church doors, and then use it to convince others to confess as well. Proctor finally realizes the importance of a person's name, and he says to Danforth, "Because it is my name!. . . . How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!" Proctor knows if he signs the confession, the Proctor name will forever be ruined, and his sons and their children will have to live with the choice he makes. He is willing to die rather than do this, and in the end, Proctor has made peace with himself, with Elizabeth, and with God.