The tension in the play builds and builds, leading up to the final confrontation between John Proctor and his judges, most notably, the Deputy Governor Danforth. Proctor has made his confession, a lie, stating that he was in league with the devil, so that he might save his own life and go home to his family once again. However, when Danforth demands Proctor's signature on the written confession, Proctor begins to doubt his decision to lie. Finally,
His breast heaving, his eyes staring, Proctor tears the paper and crumples it, and he is weeping in fury, but erect.
It is in this moment that the play's most significant conflict, Proctor's inner conflict concerning his own goodness, begins to resolve. Reverend Hale yells at him, "Man, you will hang! You cannot!" to which Proctor replies,
I can. And there's your first marvel, that I can. You have made your magic now, for now I do think I see some shred of goodness in John Proctor. Not enough to weave a banner with, but white enough to keep it from such dogs.
Proctor now realizes his own goodness, that he can be redeemed. He may have sinned before now, but that sin hasn't spoiled his soul, as he once thought. In this moment, when he tears the confession and recognizes his own integrity, we see the play's climax.