The young girls all go with her plans because she threatens them if they do not help her foolish ambitions. Mary Warren gets accused of being a witch because she did not agree with Abigail and what she was doing. Abigail works her way up through the people of the town, accusing those who are sure to be convicted first before moving up to her target Elizabeth. Cunning minds can easily deceive others, which is what she tries to do to John Proctor. “I know you, John- You are this moment singing secret Hallelujahs that your wife will hang” (Pg. 51)! She sends many people to their death but continues. The plan that she instituted failed when she ended up getting John Proctor himself convicted. Abigail Williams flees Salem after Proctor is sentenced.
Judge Danforth is also responsible for the Salem witch trials because his rulings to kill people came with no concrete evidence against them, only unreliable witnesses. Judge Danforth has a very cutthroat way for his rulings. One is either guilty or innocent, no opportunity for a second trial or a review of the case. He openly lets the court know this by saying "If you are not with the court, you are against it"(72). This almost proves that Judge Danforth is ignorant to hard evidence, only wanting people to admit that they are with or against him. Neither option is a just opinion, adding to the hysteria, lie so you can live and others die or tell your truth and die while others live. The people of Salem do not want to make this decision, thus leading to more innocent deaths of the people of Salem. If there had been a different judge in the Salem with trials they would have been over without a death and Abigail's deception would have been brought to light. Judge Danforth decides that many people are guilty, when in reality he should have said he was guilty.
To add on to the last point, not only did Danforth not let people defend themselves, he also used misleading questions with little or no evidence. For example, In act III Danforth asks Giles Corey, “Do you take it upon yourself to determine what this court shall believe and what shall set
When an entire crowd is choosing to go down the same path it makes it easy for us to follow the leader, even if the outcome may be against our morals or not truly what we believe is right. In The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, we see people follow one false accusation with more. Sadly, it’s human nature to choose to make the same decisions and behave similarly as those we are surrounded by. This is distinguished in two ways: mob mentality and mass hysteria. Mob mentality is the behavior of a large crowd who are solely followers. Mass hysteria is a condition affecting a large group, characterized by anxiety, irrational beliefs or behavior, and inexplicable symptoms of illness. All of these signs are very much present in the Salem mass, but when it comes down to it, who was the person that started all of this? Abigail Williams is the one responsible for creating the mass hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts.
Secondly, Judge Danforth’s irrationality and ignorance brings about poor decisions on his part. One of the instances where Danforth reveals his following attitude is when he denies to even look at a deposition presented by John Proctor as described by his words “ No, no, I accept no depositions” (Miller 88). John Proctor hands him a deposition signed by Mary warren, stating that
Explanation 2: Danforth allows himself to be so easily persuaded and tricked by Abigail and the other children. He lets his guard down when listening to Abigail because he believes her to be trustworthy: “Danforth, weakening: ‘Child, I do not mistrust you-’ ” (Miller 108). Part of this trust comes from Abigail having tricked the town into believing that she has been saved and it is her duty to point out the Devil’s people, but as a judge, it is Danforth’s duty to be impartial in the
Danforth believes he is an free minded person, although Miller describes him as a dictator in the courtroom. He believes people should not strike fear in the
He is considered one of the best judges as he was called in from out of town, specifically to lend his expertise to the town; if someone were to prove that the girls had been lying the entire time, it would render all of his judgments ineffectual, ruin his reputation as an accurate judge, and make him the most hated man in Salem that could possibly turn into anarchy and overthrow the court. His pride is on display mostly in acts three and four. When Giles Corey tries to first present his complaints, Danforth doesn't listen to Corey including telling him that this is the best court in the area ,"This is the highest court of the supreme government of this province." (85-86) Danforth later goes on and tells Corey that he’s one of the best judges in the area, As well as starts to brag about his power "near to four hundred are in the jails...and upon my signature...and seventy-two condemned to hang by that signature."(87) He is starting to show that if he wanted to he could hang anyone he wanted with the power that he has in the court. Later in act III and IV, when Proctor brings evidence that the girls are fake, Danforth all of a sudden comes with defensiveness, accusing Proctor on his motives, worried that Proctor really wants to undermine this court or overthrow it rather than just save his wife. After he orders the 99 petition signers to be arrested, he defends his choice, saying proudly,"a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it...no uncorrupted man may fear this court."(94) This shows that an Innocent person can not actually be non guilty in the court and will have to confess of being guilty or being executed for not confessing of being guilty also showing that danford really has the most power in salem along with the girls choosing
By all means he doesn't want people to have doubt on him and himself that he sentence the innocence to death. Moreover, he never lets anything slide from him and tae job as a judge very seriously. For instance, it stated in the novel “Be quiet!... Be quiet!!” (Miller 120) In this quote this display a repetition and that words are being ignored or listened. Which means, that his caring his reputation very deeply by seeing the extra exclamation mark . “Who is this?” (Miller pg 92) In this quote it tells that Danforth does not know people in Salem and insecure about his place as a judge. During this discussion in the court, he feel that abnormal tensions and that someone can or will challenge his
Proof of Danforth’s guilt is shown when Danforth believes Abigail and the girls are incapable of lying during the trials. He dominates everyone in the witch trials, except for Abigail and is easily persuaded when it comes to Abigail’s stories. For example, as the girls walk into the court, Governor Danforth asks Abigail if there is any truth to the story. Abigail rises and says there is no truth. From the very beginning of the trials, Danforth shows favoritism towards Abigail's words. Danforth believes she is always stating accurate information. He later asks Abigail about the poppet that was sewn in front of her in the court trial. Abigail saw Mary Warren make the poppet, but she denied it and said it is a lie. The men in the court say she is lying (1201). Danforth is too trusting to accuse Abigail of doing something wrong because she is a child. Danforth is convinced since Abigail is a young girl, she is innocent and always
One of many reasons the witch trials were able to continue was because of Judge Danforth’s ignorance towards what was actually going on in Salem. When Francis Nurse and John Proctor try to explain to him the girls are deceiving him, he over rules their ideas by challenging “And do you know that near to four hundred are in the jails from Marblehead to Lynn, and upon my signature?”(Miller 179). Danforth is proud to say that he has put people in jail, put people to death for witchcraft because his ignorance blocks him from seeing the evidence he is presented with is false. As well as being exposed to false evidence, Judge Danforth also makes the claim that witchcraft cannot be disproved; therefore the court has to rely solely on the girl’s accusations. Danforth declares, “But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not?
Danforth shows his neglect of justice and seems to be only interested in protecting himself rather than the innocent citizens. When local respected farmer Francis Nurse questions Danforth he asserts his power saying “and you know that near four hundred are in the jails from Marblehead to Lynn, and upon my signature” (Miller 203). Danforth is stating that he is the all powerful, being able to put that many people in jail,
Deputy Governor Danforth is a selfish, arrogant, and corrupt man who only cares about his own goods. His flawed personalities and hypocritical attitudes make him blind and irrational throughout the entire witchcraft, which directly causes the calamity of the town. Danforth feels embarrassing and doesn’t know what to do when Proctor brings Mary Warren’s deposition that shows his previous judgments are wrong. He is baffled and find a reason to defend himself, “ there lurks nowhere in your heart, nor hidden in your spirit, any desire to undermine this court? Are you in all respects a Gospel Christian? Not come to Church?”(94). Instead of taking a closer look at the details and the evidence of the case, he chooses to question Proctor’s credibility, and he believes people who confound his theory are challenging his authority and he will never let that happen. Furthermore, Danforth is somewhat terrified and worried
Abigail Williams is a great example of how vengefulness undermines the court’s authority. Abigail Williams, a girl who has an “endless capacity for dissembling” (Act I), seeks revenge not only through the court system, but through Tituba, her slave, and the girls she manipulates. Jealous of Elizabeth Proctor, who she thought was a “cold, sniveling woman” (Act I), for firing her after learning of her affair with her husband John Proctor, Abigail sees no other method to regain her “lover” other than killing his wife. After Abigail comes to this conclusion