Though Mary Warren cannot say who accused Elizabeth Proctor, who do you believe accused her and why?Though Mary Warren cannot say who accused Elizabeth Proctor, who do you believe accused her and why?

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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We are told directly that Abigail Williams made the accusation against Elizabeth. She planted the doll and acted as if Elizabeth had used the doll as a voodoo avatar to hurt her. This elaborate and cynical bit of conniving convinced enough people to get Elizabeth arrested and convicted. 

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Yup. Abigail wants John and devises a devious plan to get him, using poor Mary Warren as her dupe. Abigail starts as an actress and is able to continue that charade when she accuses Elizabeth of sticking needles into her. Desperate measures for a desperate and devious girl, someone Miller describes as having "an endless capacity for dissembling."

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Add me to the jurors of those convicting Abigail.  Proctor had continued to spurn her advances, and whether to punish Proctor or to get Elizabeth "out of the way", and drunk on her own power of accusation, Williams named her.

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sarahc418 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In Act 2 of The Crucible, Cheever comes right out and says "Abigail Williams charge her." The audience knows that it is Abigail who has publicly accused Elizabeth of witchcraft. Mary Warren has difficulty accusing Abigail right out of setting Elizabeth up with the poppet that Mary made in the courtroom, but it seems likely that Abigail told Mary to give Elizabeth the doll with the needle already in it.

Once Elizabeth had the doll, Abigail could act as though someone was sticking her with needles and the poppet becomes proof of Elizabeth's guilt.Because Mary is afraid of Abigail, as is evident later in the play as well, it is clear that Mary will not do well to go to court and help defend Elizabeth's innocence.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It seems pretty likely to me that it was Abigail Williams.  The reason that I say this is that Abigail is the person with the clearest motive for wanting Mrs. Proctor to be in trouble.  I assume that Abigail has accused Elizabeth so that she (Abigail) can have John Proctor.

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dtarver1003 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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Though Mary Warren cannot say who accused Elizabeth Proctor, who do you believe accused her and why?

Though Mary Warren cannot say who accused Elizabeth Proctor, who do you believe accused her and why?

Elizabeth knows that Abigail and her husband had an affair, so she fired her from their service. Abigail believes that Elizabeth has spread “rumors” about the affair. In Act 2, Mary Warren says, “I saved her life today!” which the reader is able to infer that Abigail has accused Elizabeth of witchcraft, but Mary claims that she has never seen any indication of it. Because of her claim, the court dismisses the accusation. This is when Elizabeth realizes that Abigail wants her dead so she can have John.

 

 

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