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Characters

Quote #1

Enter Mary Warren, breathless. She is seventeen, a subservient, naive, lonely girl.
MARY WARREN: What'll we do? The village is out! I just come from the farm; the whole country's talkin' witchcraft! They'll be callin' us witches, Abby! Abby, we've got to tell.
MERCY, pointing and looking at Mary Warren: She means to tell, I know it.
MARY WARREN: Abby, we’ve got to tell. Witchery's a hangin' error, a hangin' like they done in Boston two year ago! We must tell the truth, Abby! You'll only be whipped for dancin', and the other things! (I.144-147)

Justice in the colony includes punishment for witchcraft crimes as well as dancing. This is, in part, because it is a theocracy, and long before the Constitution, with its enshrined “Separation between church and state,” was established.

Quote #2

MARY WARREN, like one awakened to a marvelous secret insight: So many time, Mr. Proctor, she come to this very door, beggin' bread and a cup of cider-and mark this: whenever I turned her away empty, she mumbled.
ELIZABETH: Mumbled! She may mumble if she's hungry.
MARY WARREN: But what does she mumble? You must remember, Goody Proctor. Last month-a Monday, I think-she walked away, and I thought my guts would burst for two days after. Do you remember it?
ELIZABETH: Why-I do, I think, but-
MARY WARREN: And so I told that to Governor Danforth, and he asks her so. "Goody Osburn, " says he, "what curse do you mumble that this girl must fall sick after turning you away?" And then she replies- mimicking an old crone -"Why, your excellence, no curse at all. I only say my commandments; I hope I may say my commandments," says she!
ELIZABETH: And that's an upright answer.
MARY WARREN: Aye, but then Governor Danforth say, "Recite for us your commandments!"- leaning avidly toward them –and of all the ten she could not say a single one. She never knew no commandments, and they had her in a flat lie!
PROCTOR: And so condemned her?
MARY WARREN, now a little strained, seeing his stubborn doubt: Why, they must when she condemned herself.
PROCTOR: But the proof, the proof!
MARY WARREN, with greater impatience with him: I told you the proof. It's hard proof, hard as rock, the judges said. (II.118-128)

The court’s decision is made without evidence and hard proof, which is hardly “justice” in Proctor’s judgment. Mary, on the other hand, is caught up in the excitement and prestige of the court. She is incapable of reflecting on the process herself – she just defers to what “the judges said.”

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