The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Describe the significance of Mary Warren’s changing behavior towards John Proctor from act 1.

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In act three, Mary Warren reluctantly testifies that Abigail Williams and the girls are lying, which is a significant admission that threatens to undermine the entire court. Shortly after testifying that the girls are frauds, John Proctor attempts to ruin Abigail's reputation and remove her from power by publicly confessing to having an affair with her. Elizabeth Proctor then lies to court officials and tries to preserve her husband's positive reputation by testifying that he never committed lechery, which ironically dooms him and results in his arrest. After Proctor is arrested, Reverend Hale says that he has never believed Abigail and she begins to turn on Mary Warren. Abigail responds by acting like she sees Mary's spirit in the rafters, and the other girls follow her lead. When Mary Warren begins to oppose Abigail, she and the other girls begin repeating Mary's words and act like her spirit is attacking them. Mary gets swept up in the hysterical atmosphere and realizes that her life...

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