What were Giles Corey's last words in The Crucible?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Giles’s last moments were revealed by Elizabeth as she narrated how Giles met his death to her husband. John was informed that Giles was dead after he asked about him. Giles was accused of practicing witchcraft and being a wizard. His predicament was strongly linked to Mr. Putnam’s attempt to acquire his property. Giles Corey was interrogated and tortured, but he refused to take a plea. Giles was denied a proper meal during the interrogation. He was also tied down and had massive weights placed on him to force him to answer to the charges against him. However, he resisted all efforts to have him take a plea and instead asked for more weight to be placed on his body. His last words were “more weight!” Giles died a Christian under the law, which meant that his property remained with his kin after his death.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Giles Corey was a strong, determined old man who refused to break under the torture inflicted upon him by the court in Salem. When Giles refused to answer the charges against him and to name his friends in order to save his life, he was "pressed." Great stones were placed on his chest, one at a time, to force him into compliance. The pain was excruciating as Giles endured stone after stone placed upon him. Still he refused to give his tormentors what they sought. Giles would not betray his friends, and he would not betray his own character. He was defiant to the end. Giles' last words to the court showed his indomitable spirit. "More weight," he told them. Then he died. The example of Giles Corey's courage foreshadows that of John Proctor, who also chooses to die rather than to sacrifice his integrity. Giles' death is historically accurate. During the witch trials in Salem, all who died were hanged, except for him.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial