what role does mary warren play at the trials?

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Mary Warren's role in the trials is not static. When the trials begin, she offers testimony that leads to the arrest and prosecution of Salem citizens; a notable example is what she tells the Proctors in Act II about her role in Goody Good's trial. Mary claims that Goody Good "nearly choked us all to death" when "she sent her spirit out." Mary goes on to relate her own experience with Goody Good mumbling at her when Mary refused her a cup of cider, claiming that she later became ill and implying that Goody Good had put a curse on her.

After Elizabeth Proctor's arrest, Mary briefly tries to come clean to the court about pretending to see spirits. She has the opportunity to bring the trials to a halt, but she is too fearful of the legal consequences of her deception, to say nothing of her fear that Abigail will kill her, as she has threatened to do. Ultimately, Mary returns to the side of the accusing girls and not only allows Elizabeth's conviction to stand, but implicates John Proctor, as well. Mary's moral weakness makes her one of the most reprehensible of the teen accusers.

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Mary Warren is a great character when it comes to character development. The Mary Warren in Act 1 is not the Mary Warren of Act 2. She starts out as a shy and diminutive little girl-- a complete opposite to Abigail Williams-- who took over the domestic position in the Proctor household. But the importance of her role as victim in the Witchcraft Trials has given her a confidence that she did not previously have. When she enters the Proctor home in Act 2, she explains in great detail what valuable testimony she has been able to give and how it is leading to one woman's jail time and another woman's hanging. She is just as swept away by the intensity of the proceedings as the judges, and truly believes that all her afflictions are the result of witchcraft over her body by the women who stand accused. In other words, she buys into her own hype. This little girl, who had no power, no voice, is suddenly in the spotlight and believed without contradiction.

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