The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What are some examples of irony in the beginning of Act 3 of The Crucible?

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Certainly there are a great many examples of dramatic irony in Act Three. Dramatic irony occurs when there is a discrepancy between what the reader knows and what a character knows. When a reader knows more than a character, it defies expectation, and this is why it qualifies as a type of irony. When Judge Danforth tells John Proctor to be sure that he tells only the truth in court because "We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment," the reader actually knows a great deal more than Danforth does. We know that the girls are lying, though it is the court's opinion "that the voice of...

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