Why does Danforth say he refuses to postpone the executions?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Like so much in Danforth's attiude, he refuses to accept any premise that would bring questioning and doubt to the nature of the court.  In some senses, Danforth has brought forth the idea that he refuses to let anything question his court.  The court has become an extension of himself.  It is for this reason that he refuses to accept anything during the trials that questions the findings of the court.  It is for this reason that refuses to budge in delaying the executions.  He believes that to do so would bring a bad name to both the court and, by extension, himself:

...postponement now speaks of floundering on my part.

This is a telling line in that Danforth links the court with his own name, something that Proctor will flip in an unusual way later on in the Act.  For Danforth, the very idea that there could be a delay or any doubt in the proceedings helps to bring question to both it and to Danforth himself.  This is an end that he cannot even fathom to embrace.