In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, what is the effect of verbal, situational, and dramatic irony?

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As is the case with most irony, situational and dramatic irony is used in The Crucible to increase tension and heighten suspense.  First, the situational irony of having children calling the shots in the witch trials undermines the authority of adults who should and do know better, and it increases tension for readers because these children are essentially in charge of who lives and who dies in Salem.  As Proctor says, "now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom [...]!"  The children's accusations overwhelm common sense, reputation, trust, everything that has always mattered.  That so much faith is put into the words of children, children who are fickle, easily...

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