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Giles Cory Character Analysis

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A name, in theory, is a word or phrase that helps you recall a person or thing. In practice, a name also helps one recall the person’s or thing’s reputation. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the characters’ decisions emphasize this quality. Not only does the name include the reputation and legacy of the people they identify, the characters’ choices and behaviors in The Crucible are motivated by the preservation of their dignity and the reputation associated with their names. By assessing the choices made, the inner personality traits of each character can be seen. Giles Cory’s stubbornness, in particular, was propelled by his dignity and reputation, as seen in his inability to admit truths and his reaction to his death. Cory was arrested…show more content…
Giles’s unruliness had landed him in court many a time, never as a defendant though, so he knew the laws of Salem like the back of his hand. Cory argues against Deputy Governor Danforth in Act Three, “Judge Danforth: If you do not give me his name, I will have you arrested for contempt of court. Giles Corey: This is a hearing. You cannot arrest me for contempt of a hearing,” (214). After this exchange, Danforth began a trial to hold Cory accountable for his response, or lack thereof. Giles knew his reputation would be shattered if he gave up one or more of his friends for his own safety. Cory’s dignity and pride also would not allow him to respond yes or no to an accusation saying he practiced witchcraft. Giles decided not to give the court any satisfaction for his arrest by giving in to the accusations or denying them and hanging for it. Either way he could have answered would have killed him, morally or physically, so he didn’t answer. He knew good and well that his actions would land him with a…show more content…
Neither he nor his wife would admit to his lechery in the aforementioned questioning, their reputation would be destroyed, even if it meant that the truth was shown. In Act Two, John has an outburst at his wife’s arrest, seeing as it would deface his family name saying to the court officials, “God will not let you wash your hands of this!”(204). Proctor blamed the court for his family legacy being ruined. In the last scene of the play, Proctor perfectly sums up the importance of the legacy behind the name. Proctor cries out, “I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (240). All John wanted after his death was a legacy to leave. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible has characters that, even though they are drastically different, are very similar in their motives. For example, John Proctor and Governor Danforth both protect what they feel is important by their actions. Giles and Putnam both get angered because of their egos. One thing they all have in common is the fact their names tell their
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