The Crucible

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A wealthy farmer and landowner in Salem and the husband of Rebecca Nurse. Francis Nurse is generally considered by the Salem community to be a good man, but many people resent his recent rise to wealth. He's had arguments over land with Putnam that have risen even to the level of physical fights. Families related to Francis Nurse were involved in refusing to allow Putnam's wife's brother-in-law to become the minister of Salem, a slight that Putnam has not forgotten.

Francis Nurse Quotes in The Crucible

The The Crucible quotes below are all either spoken by Francis Nurse or refer to Francis Nurse. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Crucible published in 2003.
Act 3 Quotes
You must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God's grace, the shining sun is up, and them that fear not light will surely praise it.
Related Characters: Deputy Governor Danforth (speaker), Francis Nurse
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

John Proctor and Francis Nurse have collected 91 signatures of landowners attesting to the good characters of their wives, as well as Martha Corey. Danforth decides that each of the landowners must be questioned, and Francis Nurse expresses despair, saying that he had promised the landowners that they would not be punished for signing the petition. In this speech, Danforth coolly reminds Nurse that the landowners will come to no harm if they have committed no sin.

Danforth speaks, ironically, of the great clarity with which the court now can view and judge the accused: all men and women are either good or evil, and the court can consider every person either with God or with the Devil. "The dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world" has now past, according to Danforth. Even in the midst of the moral murk of the trials, Danforth asserts that telling good and evil apart has never been clearer or easier.

Danforth believes that the Puritan church and its court have been endowed with the great power to judge all people as God himself might. Danforth insists that only people who fear the light of God's grace could question the court's actions. In doing so, he stifles the voices of anyone who would speak out against the court, threatening them with condemnation: again, "a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it."

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Francis Nurse Character Timeline in The Crucible

The timeline below shows where the character Francis Nurse appears in The Crucible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Giles Corey and Francis Nurse appear in Proctor's doorway with the news that their wives, Martha and Rebecca, have been... (full context)
Act 3
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
...get more land. Corey is dragged from the courtroom (and onto the stage), followed by Francis Nurse , Hale, Parris, Hathorne, and Danforth. Hathorne and Danforth are furious that Corey would disrupt... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Francis Nurse steps forward. Danforth says that he's only heard good things about Nurse's character and is... (full context)