Why does John confess to witchcraft? Why can't he sand by his confession?
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Proctor states to Hathorne that he will confess himself, but he asks Elizabeth once again if it is evil. She answers that she cannot judge, but he asks in return who will judge him. When they demand a written confession, Proctor asks why he must sign. Danforth says it is for the good instruction of the village.
The guards bring in Rebecca Nurse, who is astonished that John is confessing. Proctor refuses to say that he saw Rebecca Nurse in the Devil's company, or anybody else. Danforth demands that Proctor prove the purity of his soul by accusing others, but Hale advises that it is enough that he confess himself. Parris agrees, but Danforth once again demands that Proctor sign the document. Proctor says that he has confessed to God, and that is enough. He asks Danforth whether a good penitence must be public. Proctor asks how he can teach his children to walk like men when he has sold his friends. Proctor wishes to keep only his name, and Danforth thus refuses to accept his confession. Danforth orders Proctor to be hanged.