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In act two of The Crucible what does John Proctor decide to do after Mary Warren warns...

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knights013 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 11, 2011 at 5:06 AM via web

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In act two of The Crucible what does John Proctor decide to do after Mary Warren warns him about testifying against Abigail?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 31, 2011 at 7:18 AM (Answer #1)

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At the end of act two of The Crucible, John Proctor's wife has just been arrested, because Abigail concocted an elaborate scheme involving the poppet and an needle to act as "proof" that Elizabeth is a witch.  John knows that Abigail is doing this out of spite for Elizabeth, and, because she is still in love with John and wants to be his wife.  He realizes that he is partly to blame, because he had an affair with Abby that spurred Abby's hopes for them to be together.  So, he is determined to go to the courts and tell them that Abigail had told him, at the beginning of the hysteria, that the girls weren't bewitched, just frightened because they had been caught dancing.  Abby told him that very thing, and he wants to go testify to the courts of it.  He also wants Mary to tell how she was the one who stuck the needle in the doll, NOT his wife.  However, Mary Warren warns him that if he does that, Abby will "charge lechery on you, Mr. Proctor!"  Lechery is adultery; Mary warns that if he tries to defame Abby, Abby will accuse him of adultery.

John's response to this is added conviction to do what is right, even if he has to be exposed as an adulterer.  He says,

"Good...we will slide together into our pit; you will tell the court what you know."

He determines to make his peace with is past, go to the court, have Mary testify, and do anything and everything he can to clear his wife's name, even if that means exposing his adultery.  I hope that helped; good luck!

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