Theme Of Ethos In The Crucible

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In The Crucible, John Proctor the protagonist, becomes a victim of the witch trials when his wife Elizabeth, is accused of witchcraft. In order to free his wife, Proctor must convince Judge Danforth of his wife’s innocence. Judge Danforth does not sign condemnations lightly and takes meticulous inspection of his cases to determine the guilty party. He is also a highly religious man who takes matters between God and men seriously. It is because of Danforth’s dedication to the law and God that Proctor utilizes ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade him. Ultimately, Proctor uses ethos, logos, and pathos to convince Danforth to free his wife, but is unsuccessful.
Proctor first approaches Danforth with an argument of ethos to liberate his wife. The
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The contention between the characters have intensified as the argument escalates, and Proctor's failure at pinning the blame on Abigail has frustrated him. When Abigail begins another self righteous fit of possession and calls upon Heaven, Proctor can no longer stand her hypocrisy. He cries out in a “roaring voice” “breathless and in agony: It is a whore!” (Miller 109, 110). Proctor is now confessing, “his shame great” of when he committed adultery with Abigail (Miller 110). Although Proctor is incriminating himself, he is trying to reveal Abigail’s true character and motives to Danforth. Finally, pathos is effective at convincing Danforth Abigail’s accusations are lies because Proctor’s emotions are raw and unadulterated, so much that “Danforth seems unsteady” (Miller 111). Danforth believed Abigail was a redeemed sinner being used by God to indicate those still in the dark, but now Proctor has shed all propriety and revealed the true Abigail. Pathos is so effective here because it is what Abigail used to convince the court. During court, Mary said she heard “the other girls screaming” and that Danforth “seemed to believe them” so she followed suit (Miller 107). Abigail and her friends saw the court believing their act, so they continued with their theatrics. This same display of emotion from Proctor also works at convincing Danforth Abigail’s words are not to be trusted, and her accusations against his wife have no
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