The Boldness of Courage Youre the Devils man! (118), Mary Warren cried out when she accused John Proctor of working for the devil. Courage is defined as mental or moral strength to face danger without fear. This is supported in Arthur Millers The Crucible. Throughout the Salem witch trials in the 1600s, courage was that good people held in to, even through the toughest times. To illustrate this, an example of someone with courage is John Proctor.
Proctor is a farmer with a wife, Elizabeth, and three young boys. He quietly suffers from guilt caused by an affair he had with a young woman named Abigail Williams. He is contrite and solicitous in his wifes presence, and he yearns to regain her respect. John shows his courage when he has to make a life and death decision to lie and say that he is involved in witchcraft, which will prevent his execution, or to deny being a witch and be hanged. Proctor, after being questioned by Judge Danforth about being involved in witchcraft, stated that he was. Danforth was then having Proctor sign a confession, but he argued with Danforth saying, I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be in public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are! (142).
When Danforth would not give up the argument with Proctor to sign the confession, he asked, Then explain to me, Mr. Proctor, why will you not let me have it? (143), Proctor answered, Because it is my name.. Because I lie and sign myself to lies!.. I have given you my soul; leave me my name! (143). Danforth then explained to Proctor, if the confession was a lie, he would not accept it. Proctor, with his breast heaving and his eyes staring, he tore the confession and crumpled it up, while he wept in fury. Danforth then ordered for him to be hung high over the town (143). John Proctor showed courage for his friends and family and by doing it, helped put an end to the unfair courts of Salem. Another good example of with a good deal of courage is Giles Corey.
Giles is a 83-year old landowner who is sturdy, mettlesome, and fiercely independent. Hes unenlightened and pig-headed, but at the same time, warm-hearted and undaunted. He reveals himself to be a great man of awesome courage and will when he would not answer aye or nay to his indictment (135). When Elizabeth Proctor was telling her husband, John, about it, she explained, great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them two words.
More weight, he says. And died. (135). Giles Coreys wife, Martha, and all of his friends, had already been convicted of witchcraft, so he had probably decided that he had nothing to live for. Giles humbly protested the one-sided courts by sacrificing himself as an example to his friends to stay strong and to not give up in what they believed is wrong.
John Proctor could have easily used Giles Corey as an example, because Proctor learned of Giles death before he had to make his decision of confessing or being executed. The next courageous person in The Crucible is Reverend John Hale. Reverend Hale is the church authority on demonology. He is summoned to Salem to find out if Reverend Parris daughter Betty, who is suffering from an unexplained illness, has been hexed by witchcraft. Reverend Hale is proud of his scholarly expertise, and is glad to come to Salem to give his professional input on the situation. He displayed acts of courage when he got extremely frustrated about how unjust and ridiculous Danforth and the trials were, so he stood up and yelled, I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court! (120). Reverend Hale then comes back later to help those convicted by trying to persuade them to confess and live, rather than be hanged.
By doing this, Reverend Hale shows great moral courage. He gives up everything he has worked for in his demonology career by going against the court, and trying to persuade innocent people to confess because he feels horribly responsible for bringing the hysteria to Salem. Reverend Hale is one of the greatest examples of moral courage because he puts his reputation on the line to try to save innocent peoples lives. These three great men held on to courage during a time where it would have been easy to take the smooth road out. Instead, they did what they knew was right. With all of these examples in mind, one can come to the point that they had strong and definite courage. They were willing to make a stand for what they thought was wrong, even if it meant giving up life or reputation.
These examples make todays people think about, if they could stand up for what they think is unjust or wrong, and in some instances put their life on the line for it.