I will not hang with you! I love God. I love God.
~ Mary Warren decides to lie to protect herself

Mary in the film adaptation of the play.

Mary Warren is a cowardly young girl who was one of the key accusers of the Salem Witch trials, in which thirty accused Salemites were executed and hundreds were imprisoned. 

In the 1960s when the United States feared Communist spies, theater writer Arthur Miller (who himself was accused of being one) wrote a play based around the Witch Trials of 1692, and used it as a thinly-veiled metaphor for the Red Scare. It was entitiled The Crucible.


In The Crucible, Mary helped the antagonist of the story, Abigail Williams, make a charm as an attempt to kill John Proctor's wife Elizabeth "Goody" Proctor. While out in the forests with the Parris family's slave Tituba, the reverend of the town, Samuel Parris discovered the girls dancing around a bonfire, and that he also saw one girl running nude through the trees. After this incident, Abigail and the other girls attempted to cover their attempt to create a charm to kill Goody Proctor by accusing other people of witchcraft. As a result of their actions plenty of the Salemites were accused as being witches, or in line with the Devil, and were either executed or thrown into prison.

Before this, Mary was the servant of the Proctor household, and when the trials began, she felt that she had authority and that she didn't have to listen to what John told her. She also went back to Salem to partake in the Trials when John commanded her not to. When she returned from Salem, she gave Elizabeth Proctor a poppet (a doll), which was later used to accuse Elizabeth for being a witch. She also claimed that she saved Elizabeth from being arrested the first time when her name was given out to the court, although she wouldn't confess about who the mystery person was. When John was trying to pressure her into confessing that Abigail and the other girls were lying about the witches, she broke down and began to sob bitterly because Abigail threatened to murder her if she revealed the truth to the court.

In Act III, when she was taken to court, she was able to muster enough strength to confess that she and the other girls were faking the whole time, but she started to lose that strength once Abigail and the other girls were brought in. Abigail and the girls quickly started to accuse Mary of being a witch, and that they also saw a yellow bird attacking them. Fearing for her life, Mary accused Proctor of being the Devil's man, despite him trying to comfort her throughout the trial. After Act III, Mary is never mentioned again, and Proctor is hung along with Sarah Good and Rebecca Nurse. They were the last of the accused to be hung. And thus, the mass hysteria ended in Salem taking hundreds with it.


I cannot! I cannot!
~ Mary Warren to John Proctor

Mary was a very cowardly young girl as was shown when she was accusing the other Salemites as being witches as an attempt to spare her own life from the gallows. She also ultimately betrayed her master John when Abigail and the other girls were accusing her of sending her spirit out to torment them.