Notes on Judge Hathorne - the Crucible

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Judge Hathorne
* A stubborn and ignorant man, John Hathorne is known as a leading judge in the Salem witch trials as well as the only one who did not repent his crimes after. * The judge was a great part of the real-life witch hunt, although Miller included other details in his characterizations to represent other judges involved (besides Danforth): ‘…while there were several judges of almost equal authority, I have symbolized them all in Hathorne and Danforth.’ * He disregards any opposition with the idea people are trying to overthrow the court in ‘contempt’ – open disrespect and disobedience. * A grandson, Nathaniel, took the name Hawthorne to hide the shame of his ancestry because he did not want to be connected to ‘a bitter, remorseless Salem judge’. * Historical and fictional accounts of the trials often depict him as convinced that the accused were guilty, so he was considered a harsh judge at the time e.g. when Martha Corey is accused for witchcraft: ‘Why do you hurt these children?’ – he does not question the accusation, only asks for a motive. * Hathorne was regularly in favour of convicting those accused: ‘Excellency, she is condemned a witch.’ as condemnation is final and warrants punishment. * He is impatient and intolerant: ‘Then can she pretend to faint now?’ as the use of ‘now’ means he immediately wants a demonstration of the ‘pretense’, despite the fact Mary is terrified before Abigail and the court: ‘Mary Warren: very faintly…’. * Hathorne often appeared to act more as a prosecutor than an impartial inquisitioner. * He is totally biased and will not see alternative explanation: ‘It is no lie; you cannot speak of lies’.
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