I believe that the main incentive for Dan forth to prevent proctor from making public his allegations about Abigail Williams is the fact that Abigail’s testimony would be questioned because in the time that the story is set, adultery is one of the most judgemental sins. The community was focused greatly around trust and respect, and john proctor was highly thought of in the village and Dan forth believed that this would throw the town into even more turmoil than it was already in.
and the very basis of the community would be questioned , because if one of the most respected and trusted man in the town could commit such a sin, and the daughter of the reverend could do this also, what could other people be capable of. Another point is that Dan forth has a reputation to uphold and if Abigail’s testimony is discarded Dan forth will have sentenced many innocent people to death on the basis that Abigail Williams is telling the complete truth.
He would be criticised for not finding out that Abigail is giving false testimony as he is such an influential member of the court. In various parts in act three Parris attempts to keep proctor in a bad light, for example on page 75 the comment made by parris ‘their good opinion’ is orchestrated to dismiss the evidence that john is submitting as inadequate. On a separate occasion, on page 78 proctor states ‘ he has the story in confidence sir’ which Parris replies with ‘the devil lies in such confidences!
( to Dan forth) without confidences there would be no conspiracy, your honour’ this comment I believe is designed to discount the reason given by proctor and at the same time implying that the kind of stories that john has given have something to do with the conspiracy starting in the first place.
In act three Dan forth uses the terms ‘child’ and ‘children’ these titles are aimed at the group of girls that are condemning all the defendants in the court to death.
In my opinion, these terms are ironic because in one instance the word child is used, in a condescending manor to belittle the girls and make them feel intimidated and of lower importance than the judges, yet without these girls the trial would never have come to light and the innocent people who died would not have done so. Also, the use of the word child is ironic because, in general its usage is related to innocence and peace, yet these children are condemning many to death through false accusations, therefore the complete opposite of the association of the word ‘child’.
Giles Corey and Francis nurse regret coming to the court with petitions, they have, in turn implicated the people signed and themselves in the sweeping accusations that seem to be landing on any one they may including the most respected woman, and Francis nurses’ wife, Rebecca nurse. They meant were thinking to clear the names of there wife’s by bringing these petitions to the court, but instead they have altered none of the allegations but added them to many more innocent people.