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In The Crucible, how does Danforth confuse Mary Warren? 

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jess29xoxo | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 6, 2012 at 3:02 AM via web

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In The Crucible, how does Danforth confuse Mary Warren? 

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 28, 2012 at 7:24 PM (Answer #1)

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In Act III of The Crucible, John Proctor brings Mary Warren before the judges to testify against the other girls. In an effort to save his wife, John plans on revealing that the girls are frauds, and Mary Warren's written deposition is his proof.

Danforth does little to confuse Mary Warren. The extent of his questioning is aimed at the girls. He emphasizes the penalties for both lying and for being a witch, telling the girls that Mary Warren will hang it she is being used by Satan to overthrow the court. He does question Mary Warren about her change in story, wondering if it is possible that spirits are causing her to present a false confession. He also plants the idea that John Proctor is bewitching her, an idea that she acts on later by condemning John Proctor and recanting her claim against the other girls.

The person that most confuses Mary Warren is Hathorne. Hathorne puts Mary on the spot, asking her to pretend to faint for them right then and there. Afraid for herself, she tells Proctor that she has no sense of it now as she did before. At this point, Hathorne and Danforth join in questioning Mary Warren, asking what has changed and why she cannot "sense" it. The girls then turn on Mary, and eventually Mary turns on John Proctor. 

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