In act 3 of The Crucible, what does John openly admit to Danforth?

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In act 3 of The Crucible, John Proctor goes to the court in order to free his wife. During this testimony, he admits a number of things to Danforth and all those present.

First, he says Mary Warren "never saw no spirits." This is news to Danforth, as Mary has spent other days in court following Abigail's lead in claiming citizens have sent their spirits out to bewitch the girls.

Other characters do not approve of John's testimony and seek to undermine him by informing Danforth of his various faults. Cheever tells Danforth that when they arrested Elizabeth (in act 2), "he damned the court and ripped your warrant." Hale is also a witness to this, and so John must admit "It were a temper, sir. I knew not what I did."

Parris then puts forth the fact that John does not come to church every Sunday, the way a good Christian is expected to. John must admit the truth of this as well: "I have no love for Mr. Parris. It is no secret. But God I surely love."

Danforth is an outsider, and so he learns these things about John. The other citizens are familiar with John's behaviors and can attest to them, so John must openly admit the truth of the public knowledge to Danforth.

Cheever pipes up that John plows on Sundays. Again, John cannot deny this and can only admit the truth and try to explain that last year he had to plow on a few Sundays because the land was giving little and he needed to provide for his three children.

John confesses these things to show his honesty. But when the court continues to believe Abigail's testimony, he finally admits that he had an affair with her. He admits the reason Abigail was dismissed from his service is because Elizabeth found out about the affair.

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John openly admits that he has had an affair with Abigail.  

At this point in the play, Abigail is in full control of the the girls and the proceedings of the court. The judges believe that Abigail is as pure as the driven snow. In order for John to save his wife and his friends from execution, John needs a way to discredit Abigail. Unfortunately, John's best evidence against her will also ruin his name and reputation. By admitting that he had sex with Abigail, John can show the court that Abigail is not to be trusted. He even calls her a "whore":

Proctor, breathless and in agony: It is a whore!

Danforth, dumfounded: You charge - ?

Abigail: Mr. Danforth, he is...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 844 words.)

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