In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Deputy Governor Danforth seems to be a cold, uncaring person. He does everything by the book, and therefore seems to be almost unhuman in his decision making. But could there be another side to Danforth that was hidden by his firm belief in the law? Or was Danforth more concerned about his reputation than the truth?
When Danforth is first introduced in the play, his court is being interrupted by Giles Corey, a town resident and also they husband of a woman, Martha Corey, that is being prosecuted for being a witch. Danforth immediately makes his authority and power known, asking Giles “And do you know that near to four hundred are in jails from Marblehead to Lynn, and upon my signature?” (Pg. 864). After Giles interrupts the court, John Proctor enters with Mary Warren. Mary confesses to Danforth that the crying out was all an act. She states that she has never seen spirts or the devil. He is skeptical of this sudden confessing, and continues to question Proctor and Mary Warren. Danforth, who is clearly unhappy with his court being, attempts to make a deal with Proctor if he will drop the charges.
Once Proctor denies Danforth’s offer, Danforth seems somewhat interesting in what Proctor has to say. This is due to the fact the Proctor had a chance to save his wife for at least a year if he would leave the court, but refused to leave, meaning there was a large purpose for Proctor to be questioning the trials. Proctor hands Danforth a petition signed by ninety-one landowners that say they have never seen Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, have any dealings with devil. Danforth has a warrant drawn up for the arrest of every name on the petition. He states that the people will not be harmed “if they are of good conscience.” Danforth continues on by saying that “a person is either with the court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between.”
(Pg. 867). This shows his firm belief in the court and his intolerance for any...