The Crucible

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Giles Corey Character Analysis

A farmer who owns a farm near Salem, Giles is an old man and somewhat of a rascal, but also very brave and moral at heart. In his many years he's been involved in numerous court cases and lawsuits, and therefore knows the law inside and out. He is married to Martha Corey.

Giles Corey Quotes in The Crucible

The The Crucible quotes below are all either spoken by Giles Corey or refer to Giles Corey. 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
Do you take it upon yourself to determine what this court shall believe and what it shall set aside? . . . .This is the highest court of the supreme government of this province, do you know it?
Related Characters: Deputy Governor Danforth (speaker), Giles Corey
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

Act 3 opens with Giles Corey's interruption of the court proceedings. He wants Deputy Governor Danforth to know that he has evidence of his wife's innocence and that Putnam stands to benefit financially from the trials. In these rebukes of Corey's claims, Danforth asserts the court's power and derides Corey's attempts to provide evidence.

Here, in the dangerous and self-righteous Danforth's first appearance in the play, the corruption of the court is instantly apparent. Danforth refuses to listen to testimonies that contradict the inevitable guilty verdicts. He will ultimately distort and dismantle any arguments that the accusers should be suspected of giving false evidence of their own. Danforth believes that, as Deputy Governor of the state of Massachusetts, he has been selected by God to serve, and that his judgment is necessarily sanctified by heaven. Danforth stands as the ultimate representation of the Puritan ideology, which devalues any individual's beliefs in favor of placating (while also encouraging) the community's fears.

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Giles Corey Character Timeline in The Crucible

The timeline below shows where the character Giles Corey appears in The Crucible. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey enter. Parris implores Rebecca to go to Betty. She does, and Betty quiets down.... (full context)
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
...faction against him in the town, to boundary disputes between Putnam, the Nurses, Proctor, and Corey. (full context)
Hysteria Theme Icon
...and prepares to examine Betty further, Rebecca departs, clearly dismissing all this fuss as foolish. Giles interrupts. He asks Hale why his wife Martha reads books that she refuses to show... (full context)
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... (full context)
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
...court and says it will certainly send Rebecca home. Yet Hale has no answer when Corey says his wife was charged by a man named Walcott as retribution for once buying... (full context)
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
...insists, however, that recent events in Salem must have some basis in fact. Hale leaves. Corey and Nurse soon follow. (full context)
Act 3
Puritanism and Individuality Theme Icon
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Offstage, Judge Hathorne and Deputy Governor Danforth question Martha Corey. Giles Corey suddenly shouts that he has evidence that Thomas Putnam is using the trials... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
...petition signed by 91 landowners declaring their good opinions of Elizabeth, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey. (full context)
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
Next, Corey provides a deposition that quotes a witness who heard Thomas Putnam say he had his... (full context)
Act 4
Hysteria Theme Icon
The Danger of Ideology Theme Icon
...She tells him that hundreds have confessed, though Rebecca has not. She also adds that Corey refused to speak at all, in accordance with a legal loophole that ensured his farm... (full context)
Reputation and Integrity Theme Icon
Proctor asks what Elizabeth would think if he confessed. Unlike Rebecca and Martha Corey, who refuse to lie and damn themselves, Proctor considers himself a liar already because of... (full context)