Who is Danforth?

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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While he is not one of the major characters, in the novel The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Judge Danforth is the deputy governor of Massachusetts. As such he finds himself in the position of presiding over the witch trials. While others, including those on trial, might disagree, Judge Danforth thinks of himself as a man of honesty and integrity.

These traits drive his focus on the bench, and he tries to be conscientious about his duties in this area. He truly sees his role in this process as one of finding and eliminating the witches (and witchcraft) that threaten their way of life.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In "The Crucible," by Arthur Miller, Danforth is the Deputy Governor and, as such, is in overall charge of the witch trials that occur in Salem.

In the play, it is revealed that Danforth is somewhat lacking in character because he is willing to put the needs of the government ahead of the interests of justice.  He does this by refusing to free Proctor and others like him even though he has a great deal of evidence showing they are innocent.  His rationale is that releasing them will make the courts look bad because they had already executed people whose cases were similar.

So, in this way, Danforth shows the propensity of government officials to want to avoid making themselves and their agencies look bad, regardless of the consequences for others.

sakeithiamurray's profile pic

sakeithiamurray | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

is the deputy governer

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