Importance Of Reputation In The Crucible

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Reputation is an important theme in “The Crucible,” by Arthur Miller. There are several instances where John Proctor, Giles Corey, or Rebecca Nurse were willing to risk their own lives to maintain their innocence. They were willing to be pressed to death by giant stones, hang on the scaffold in front of the entire town, or be branded a witch to save their reputation or the reputation of those they cared about. John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Giles Corey all died to maintain their or others’ reputation. Giles and Rebecca played a large role in standing up to the authority of the Puritan court. Also, Proctor admitted to his worst moment to save his reputation and save his wife. Arthur Miller discusses the importance of reputation his the play …show more content…
When questioned about his wife, Giles refused to say “aye” or “nay” to the accusation that his wife was a witch. For keeping his silence, they placed large stones on top of his body, hoping he would then give them satisfaction and answer. He didn’t give them their satisfaction, only telling them to add weight, and it finally killed him. Giles kept silent because he was not willing to give up his wife, in this instance it wasn’t his own reputation, but his wife’s that was on the line. By Giles’ silence he didn’t have to give testament on the accusation that his wife was a witch because at this point both yes and no were the wrong answer: yes, soiling her reputation, and no, making him a liar. Rebecca, on the other hand, was accused of witchcraft, and would not admit to it. She went bravely to the scaffold alongside John Proctor saying: “Let us fear nothing! Another judgment waits us all!” (Miller IV). Using this quote as an indication, Rebecca seems to realize that even though she receives false judgment here in Salem, that God will judge her based on her actual sins. Rebecca is aware that keeping her reputation and not bearing false witness will please God, because God does know if Rebecca was a witch or not. Rebecca and Giles knew that it is more important what God sees in your reputation than what the people in their community see. With not confessing or not testifying,they know …show more content…
There were many other innocent people being accused that would just confess to witchcraft so they weren’t hanged, but not Giles, Rebecca, or John. Proctor confessed to witchcraft, then the court officials made him sign a paper he then snatches it, because he doesn’t want it to be published for everyone to see and says: “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!” (Miller IV). He then rips it up and decides he will not ruin his reputation, he will die innocent of witchcraft and await his judgment in Heaven. He does this to show the people in the room his conviction, or to show God that Proctor knows that damning his name on Earth will damn his name in Heaven, and that he isn’t willing to do that. His decision is received in two ways, at the end of the play Reverend Parris and Reverend Hale begged Elizabeth, John’s wife, to have John to confess so he could live, and she responds with: “He has his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!” (Miller IV). Elizabeth understands that John is at peace, and he is innocent, while Hale and Parris don’t want to see him die wrongfully. Hale and Parris would

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