In act III of The Crucible, what is Mary Warren's lie in court?

In act III of The Crucible, Mary Warren lies in court by testifying that John Proctor colludes with the Devil and forced her to sign the Devil's book. Mary Warren also lies by saying that John threatened to kill her if she did not help him overthrow Salem's court.

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In the play, Mary Warren is portrayed as a spineless young woman with low self-esteem. Mary Warren is terrified of Abigail Williams and agrees to corroborate her story in act 1 after Abigail threatens to kill her. During the witch trials, Mary plays along with Abigail and the others by pretending to be attacked by wicked spirits. Eventually, Abigail accuses Elizabeth Proctor of attempted murder, and Elizabeth is arrested. John Proctor knows that Abigail and others are frauds and brings Mary Warren to stand before the court in act 3 to confess that they are lying.

When Mary Warren testifies that the girls are frauds and their actions were "pretense," Danforth becomes suspicious of Abigail, who vehemently denies the accusation. Towards the end of act 3, Abigail feels threatened by Proctor's shocking confession and begins to pretend that Mary Warren's spirit is preparing to attack her. The other girls follow Abigail's lead and begin repeating everything that Mary Warren says. Mary...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 930 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 5, 2020