Judge Danforth

Main motivation
The Deputy governor. Main motivation is to root out witchcraft and maintain the religious order in Salem

Main conflict
Secretly knows that the witch trials in Salem are all a lie yet will not release the prisioners because he is afraid of being viewed as weak - his reoutation undermined.
Pretentious and selfish judge who is very controlling

Effect on plot
When John Proctor is trying to defend Elizabeth for being a witch, Danforth refuses to believe him because he thinks the community will view him as weak.

"Hang them high over the town".
"I should be confounded were I called upon to defend these people".
"The pure in heart need no lawyers".

Role in the conflicts
He sentences innocent people to hang and refuses to believe the evidence given by John Proctor, Mary Warren and Hale.

Deputy Governor Danforth
  • Serious,intelligent, assertive of his authority
  • The human face ofGod’s justice
  • Devises the testof Proctors honesty – if his wife admits her husband “ ... has known AbigailWilliams”. This taints Proctor’s evidence against the character of Abigail
  • Refuses toapprove pardons or postponements ofexecution because to do so would be to flout God’s law – religious conflict
  • Compassionate forthose touched directly or indirectly by the courts in which he presides

  • Believes inuncompromising authority
  • Believes in thereality of witches in Salem
  • The coldrepresentative of blind justice; dominated by rules and procedures
  • Does not want toresolve the conflicts
    • He has anuncompromising belief in the reality of witches
    • In the ability ofthe court process to discover them
    • In seeking touncover evil, he becomes its embodiment
    • Without judgeslike him, no court could embark upon anywitch hunt