In "The Crucible", why don't they arrest Corey for his behavior?

Expert Answers
pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of Act III, Danforth says

"Marshall! Take him (Proctor) and Corey with him to the jail!" (Miller)

Giles Corey does get arrested in The Crucible, he charges into the court with John Proctor and Francis Nurse and refuses to name the individual who told him about Thomas Putnam putting his daughter Ruth up to charging witchcraft against George Jacobs.  However, Corey is subsequently accused of witchcraft, a charge he refuses to plead to, thereby preserving his right of ownership to his land.

He is, however, put to death, the only member of Salem who is pressed to death. 

"Corey refuses to answer the charges levied against him and is crushed to death beneath heavy stones that are placed upon his chest by the inquisitors, who are attempting to torture a confession out of him."

"Because he neither admitted the charge nor denied it and risked being hanged, his property passed to his sons instead of the town. His refusal to cooperate and his disdain for the trials is illustrated in his last words before he dies beneath the stones: "More weight."

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Corey's behavior of suing people was irritating, it was not against the law. What does get Corey into trouble is when he sided with John Proctor and was accused of disrupting the court and possible witchcraft. But Corey was intelligent enough not to say anything and therefore, the state could not take his land. He endured the torture of having large stones put on him until he died. But he died without making a plea, so his land was saved for his family.