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Giles Corey in The Crucible Essay


The Crucible is a play written by Arthur Miller regarding Salem Witchcraft Trials. The play takes place in Salem, Massachusetts during 1692. To summarize the play, Abigail, Betty, and other girls are seen running around the forest naked by Reverend Parris. Soon girls fear accusations of being witches and start blaming innocent people of Salem in order to get out of trouble. Giles Corey is one of the characters in the play, who is in early eighties at the time. Giles is constantly blamed for almost everything in the town and goes to court from time to time. Even though Giles Corey is not the main character in the play, actions of Giles give other characters in the play a hope. Giles Coreys role in the play is to give other characters in the play hope and also add to the drama by revealing Martha Corey reading books, not revealing name of the informer, and sacrificing his life.

First, Giles Corey adds to the drama of the play when Giles reveals that his wife is always reading books. Also, when Martha Corey is reading the books Giles is unable to say prayer. Giles explains to Reverend John Hale of Beverly, Last nightmark thisI tried and tried and could not say my prayers. And then she closes her book and walks out the house, and suddenlymark thisI could pray again! (Miller 40). Giles is unsuccessful in mentioning that he has a bad memory and forgets things. Giles unknowingly involves Martha Corey in witchcraft and later in the play Martha is charged of bewitching a pig. Giles regrets ever speaking about Martha reading books and blames himself for Marthas imprisonment. Giles Coreys action adds to drama since it convinces more people that witchcraft does exist.

Second, Giles Corey has a proof that Putnams daughter has been pretending and accusing innocent people of being involved in witchcraft in order to gain land. Upon questioned by Judge Danforth Giles refuses to give up the persons name who heard Putnam say that his daughter is doing all this in order to gain land. Giles Coreys response to Danforths question is, I will not give you no name. I mentioned my wifes name once and Ill burn in hell long enough for that. I stand mute (Miller 97). Giles Corey is arrested for contempt of the court. Giles Corey is already guilty of his wifes imprisonment and will not give up the persons name even if it means imprisonment. By doing this Giles shows that he is unlike other characters in the play and acts courageous by keeping the persons identity secret.

Third, Giles Corey sacrifices himself and gives other characters in the play hope. Giles Corey was imprisoned for contempt of the court and later charged with being involved in witchcraft. Unlike others Giles was not hanged since he did not agree or deny charges of witchcraft. He would not answer aye of nay to his indictment, for if he denied the charge theyd hang him surely, and auction out his property (Miller 135). Giles was pressed with rocks until he accepted the charges; however Giles stayed mute and died when his chest could not bear anymore weight of the rocks. Giles denies charges in order to pass down his land to his son and takes painful death. Giles Corey is a brave man for making a courageous example for other characters and also showing how far Giles is willing to go for justice.

To sum up, Giles Coreys role is to guide other characters in the play by courageous actions. Giles Corey is willing to go as far as to give up his life in order to keep his land from being auctioned off. Other characters in the play are being blamed of being witches even though they are innocent and once accused they have to confess in order to not be hanged. Giles Corey sets an example for others and lets other know that they do not have to falsely confess to crimes they did not commit. Giles also stands up to Judge Danforth and does not reveal identity of the informer. Overall, Giles Corey is a brave man that sets an example for other innocent accused character in the novel and gives them a hope.

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