"The Crucible"

Essay by casiemdHigh School, 11th gradeA, July 2007

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In "The Crucible", Gov. Danforth responds to Rev. Hale’s suggestion that John Proctor have a lawyer represent him in court. In his response, Danforth reveals his point of view on the situation. Danforth explains that there is no need to have a lawyer in the court because there are no witnesses. Danforth uses three sources of language in his rebuttal to Rev. Hale. He uses Damning with faint praise, rhetorical question, and deductive reasoning. Danforth intended purpose was to put down Hale’s proposition that John Proctor needs a lawyer.

In Danforth’s reply he clearly uses the resource of language Damning with Faint Praise. This means to compliment so slightly that it amounts to no compliment at all. A word related to Damning with faint praise is sarcasm. When Danforth says, “for a man of such terrible learning you are most bewildered – I hope you will forgive me.” In that sentence he is insulting Mr.

Hale with a small compliment in the end. He says that Mr. Hale was not a very smart man but acted like he was. Damning of faint praise is clearly shown one in Danforth’s argument.

Danforth also uses persuasive techniques such as rhetorical question in his reply. Rhetorical question is where the speaker of the writer asks a question that he already knows the answer to. Sometimes the writer will give the answer, other times it is clearly given. In his rebuttal, Danforth asks the question “who may possible be the witness to it?” The witch and the victim are the answers clearly given to the readers stated after the question. Danforth also asks the question, “What is left for a lawyer to bring out?” This was stated at the end of his response therefore there is no stated answer. It is clearly known...