And, as seen in his reply, he does not take the comment by Francis very nicely. “Do you know who I am, Mr Nurse? ” Danforth then carries on to go through all the death warrants he has signed and how many people are in jail upon signature, trying to make himself seem very powerful and good at his job, in the possibility that Francis might drop the accusation that Danforth and the rest of his court have been deceived by a bunch of young girls. With the entrance of Proctor and Mary Warren at his side, Paris is yet again beckoned to voice his opinion.
Being shocked that Mary Warren, one of his niece’s very good friends, has come into the court after not showing up with the rest of the ‘affected’ girls because of illness. “Beware this man, Your Excellency, this man is mischief. ” From this, it is extremely clear that he has his opinions which he tries very hard to get through to the judges as that they will agree with him. The key sign to see of Proctor is to see the way he deals with Mary Warren. When Danforth asks Mary what she has to tell to the court and Mary doesn’t answer immediately, Proctor butts in, claiming that she has never seen any spirits.
The speed at which he answers for Mary and the way he so greedily interrupted Mary before she said anything shows that Proctor seems very nervous, or even eager to get something through to the judges via Mary. When Danforth asks another question about how Mary came about lying about the spirits she saw, she answers very quietly in a frail, slow and nervous voice, even making Danforth ask her to repeat her reply because he couldn’t hear it the first time.
This unconvincing tone of voice that Mary speaks portrays that she is very nervous and even not very sure about what she is doing and what she is trying to say. The next part, the reaction to what Mary says, shocks many, and puts the situation into a different aspect. Danforth is baffled that the all the girls have been lying to him, while Paris is extremely nervous and in a state. He tries to cover up Mary’s statement saying to the judges that he can not possible allow such lies to be spread through the court.
Before the court hearing carries on, Danforth tries to intimidate in a vain attempt to get him to drop the accusations. “We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment. ” The fact that Danforth says this suggests that he might know that Proctor is not telling the entire truth and is using Mary to his advantage. When Proctor decides to carry on, some members of the court gang up on Proctor, pointing out his weaknesses and untrustworthiness to Danforth, claiming that he damned the court and that he ploughs on Sunday, the holy day.
When Proctor first made his accusations that the girls were lying and pretending, he said that he was doing it to free his innocent wife. Danforth then tells Proctor that his wife claims that she is having a baby, and since the baby has not done anything wrong, Goody Proctor can not be harmed until she has delivered the baby. With this, Danforth offers Proctor the option of dropping the case because his wife is already saved, at least for the time being.
But Proctor does not choose to, therefore contradicting his previous statement of wanting to free his innocent wife because now he wants to free the innocent wives of his friends. When Proctor gives Danforth a list of names who have signed, saying that they think Goody Proctor, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey are innocent and that in all the time they have known the women they have never seen anything to suspect them of with craft or being connected in any way to the devil.
Parris immediately says that all the people who signed should be arrested and questioned but Francis is very against that because he gave his word that none of the people would be harmed. Parris also says that it is an attack against the court but Hale, barely containing himself, disagrees. “Is every defence an attack against the court? ” Here is another sign of Hale picking the side of Proctor, Giles and Francis rather then sticking loyally with the court to which he usually stands by.