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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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Scene 2, which begins when Giles Corey is forced out of the
courtroom onto the stage, does two things: 1) it lets us know
where we are: "This is the highest court of the supreme
government of this province"; and 2) it introduces two new
characters, Judge Hathorne and Deputy Governor Danforth.
Danforth quickly establishes that he's the boss. Everyone is
arguing-he settles the argument. He will consider Giles'
evidence, but only if Giles follows procedure: "Let him submit
his evidence in proper affidavit [in writing]."

This scene also brings out an aspect of the witch-hunt that we've
seen before. The most innocent actions can have disastrous
consequences: "I only said she were readin' books, sir, and they
come and take her out of my house," Giles says, weeping. Giles
seems confused. He told Proctor that Martha was arrested for
putting a curse on Walcott's pigs. And Danforth obviously
knows nothing about Martha Corey and her books.

But really Giles is upset because he "broke charity with the
woman." He feels he has betrayed her, and he wants to make up
for it. In a way this parallels Proctor's situation with his wife. By
committing adultery with Abigail, John certainly "broke
charity" with Elizabeth. Both Proctor and Giles Corey are
motivated, to some extent, by guilt. This will be extremely
important later.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes

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