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The Boldness Of Courage Essay Research Paper

The Boldness Of Courage Essay, Research Paper

?You?re the Devil?s 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

Miller?s The Crucible. Throughout the Salem witch trials in the 1600?s,

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 wife?s 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. He?s 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 Corey?s 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 today?s 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.

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