What is Mary Warren' role and significance in the play The Crucible?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In The Crucible, Mary Warren is John and Elizabeth Proctor's servant. Mary eventually becomes an official in the court and although briefly bending to John Proctor's will, Mary feels empowered by her official position. However, Mary does let Abigail use her in a plot to frame Elizabeth. In Act II, Scene 2, Mary plants a doll which Abigail will later use as evidence to frame Elizabeth. Mary admits to this, but no one believes her. John Proctor tells Mary to tell the court the truth about the doll, but Mary threatens him that if she does this, Abby will charge John with lechery. In Act 3, Mary admits that the girls were all lying. However, since this makes the court look bad, Danforth does not recant any of the charges. 

The other girls turn on Mary and then she sides with them again. Mary is a pawn in all of this. She is caught up in the hysteria and like many others, she's trying to save herself. But she's also at the mercy of the hysteria, constantly torn between the manipulations of John and Abigail. 


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