The Crucible

Arthur Miller
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Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

13) Why doesn’t Danforth believe John Proctor’s confession of his infidelity with Abigail Williams?

Danforth decides that John Proctor’s confession is not true because it isn’t substantiated by Elizabeth Proctor. Danforth asks John, “And when she put this girl out of your house, she put her out for a harlot?” to which John responds that, yes, Elizabeth knew of his infidelity. But when Danforth asks Elizabeth, “Is your husband a lecher?” she responds, “No, sir.” Elizabeth, who John describes as never having lied, lies in this instance to protect John’s reputation. Tragically, it is this protection that contributes to John’s death sentence.