In Act III, what accusation does Mary make about Proctor after she rejoins the other girls in their hysterical behavior in The Crucible?  

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act III of The Crucible, Mary Warren first submits a deposition that exposes the hoax of Abigail and the other girls, but then she recants and contends that Proctor forced her to say that Abigail is lying.

Much of Act III is involved with the determination of who will define guilt and innocence. By confessing to his own sin of adultery, John Proctor hopes to prove the innocence of his wife Elizabeth and expose the deceit and motives of Abigail. In his effort to illuminate the duplicity of Abigail, Proctor goes before the judges and presents Mary Warren's deposition, which states that she never saw Satan or any other spirit. In this deposition, Mary also declares that the other girls have lied. Danforth questions Mary.

DANFORTH: Mary Warren how came you to this turnabout? Has Mr. Proctor threatened you for this deposition?


Danforth then tells her she is either lying now or she lied before in court; in either case, she will go to jail for perjury.

MARY WARREN: I cannot lie no more. I am with God. I am with God.

Mary begins to sob, however, and when a door opens and Abigail and the other girls emerge, Mary is asked by Reverend Parris to demonstrate how she supposedly pretended to faint in court.

MARY WARREN: looking to Proctor: I cannot faint now, sir. . . I only thought I saw spirits, and I--I promise you, Mr. Danforth, I only thought I saw them but I did not.

When Danforth questions Abigail about the possibility of the spirits being just an illusion, she boldly and cleverly casts aspersions upon him. Also, Abigail pretends that she feels a cold wind and glances at Mary as she does so. Terrified, Mary succumbs to Abigail's influence and she denounces Proctor.

MARY WARREN: You're the Devil's man. . . He come at me by night and every day to sign, to sin, to--. . . My name, he want my name. "I'll murder you," he says, "if my wife hangs! We must go and overthrow the court," he says. 

Mary declares that she loves God and rushes to Abigail, declaring that she will never hurt her any more. Proctor despairs.

pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act III, Mary Warren, in an effort to divert attention away from the accusation made against her, because she has changed her story about seeing spirits, turns and identifies John Proctor as the man who has forced her to sign her name in the Devil's book. 

"Mary Warren, You're the Devil's man!" (Miller)

Mary says this pointing at John Proctor.  She then says:

"Mary: He come at me by night and every day to sign, to sign to-" (Miller)

"My name, he want my name, I'll murder you, he says, if my wife hangs, We must go and overthrow the court, he says" (Miller)

"He wake me every night, his eyes were like coals and his fingers claw my neck, and I sign, I sign" (Miller)

She makes it clear to the court that she will no longer do as Proctor has forced her, she will now return to God.  She rushes at Abigail Williams and hugs her, claiming that she will hurt her no more.

John Proctor is taken to jail, accused of conspiring with the Devil, he will hang for witchcraft.