The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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In act 3 of The Crucible, when Mary Warren says she pretended to faint in court, what is she asked to do?

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In act 3, John Proctor forces Mary Warren to travel into Salem with him and confess the truth about the proceedings by telling the court officials that Abigail Williams and the girls are frauds. Mary Warren reluctantly follows John Proctor into Salem and testifies that she was lying during the witch trials. When Mary testifies that she only pretended to faint during the proceedings, Hathorne demands that Mary faint in front of them to prove that she is telling the truth. Mary is stunned by Hathorne's instructions and Parris demands that she pretend to faint. Mary Warren is under extreme pressure to perform and cannot reenact her feelings during the previous proceedings when she convincingly pretended to faint.

Essentially, Mary Warren is being asked to pretend to see spirits, reenact her hysterical experiences, and faint in front of a highly critical audience. Given Mary Warren's weak, timid personality, she is unable to recreate her feelings of excitement and struggles to explain how...

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