The Crucible : Character Profiles - Judge Danforth

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Preview of The Crucible : Character Profiles - Judge Danforth

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Judge Danforth
Character Profile ­ Judge Danforth
Opening Impression:
He is a God fearing Christian man with clear but stubborn definitions of right and wrong.
His ideals may seem rigid and old fashioned, causing frustration in the audience and members of the play as
he is unable (or unwilling) to see through the `witchcraft' façade.
Most powerfully we at times are given the sense that Danforth knows the accusations made in Salem are lies
but is unwilling to admit this fact because it will undermine his name.
Quotations & Analysis:
"You will keep your seat!"
The imperative and exclamation mark suggest he likes to keep order, which could suggest his controlling
(An exact loyalty to his position and his cause)
Judge Danforth, like Hale (in the beginning) believes in his `cause' and is ignorant/stubborn and perhaps
pompous in his position of power.
This foreshadows his old fashioned form of justice where any form of wrongdoing is punishable and where
he is unwilling to entertain the possibility that he might be mistaken.
Giles: To Danforth, who impresses him
The audience respects Giles so we trust his interpretation of Danforth at first.
"This is the highest court of the supreme government of this province"
Doing things for show, which could illustrate his stubbornness when passing judgment
"Who is this?"
There is a sense of outrage here as if he cannot believe that someone is challenging his authority.
[Restrained ­ he is curious]
"Not come to church?"
Religion is important to Danforth and he believes it is a sin to not attend church.
[It is the reflection on himself he resents]
There is a suggestion that Judge Danforth somehow knows that he has abused his power at some point "four
hundred...on my signature" (below)
He is feeling guilt at sentencing people with perhaps little evidence at the time.
Therefore, increasingly Danforth begins to feel shame and uneasy about his past judgments
"A person is either with this court or he must be counted against it"
He has a very narrow form of justice, either right or wrong. Sees the world in black and white
This foreshadows how Proctor will be sentenced, because although he is known as a good man in the
townspeople's/audiences eyes, Danforth can only see his guilt and his 'un-Christian' ways
GCSE English Literature Exam Notes

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Nabilah Chowdhury, 11Ra Character Profile: Judge Danforth
"Near to four hundred are in the jails...on my signature"
Makes this comment to impress those in the room and command respect
Does not want people to question him in the way that he is beginning to question himself about the hangings
"But proof sir, proof"
He is gullibly capable of believing claims supported by the most dubious evidence, i.e. witchcraft, seeing
birds, cold chill.…read more


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