The Hound of the Baskervilles Questions and Answers
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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What is the role of the moor in The Hound of the Baskervilles?

The role of the moor in The Hound of the Baskervilles is to act as both a setting and an antagonist. It provides the dark, gloomy setting against which the action takes place. But it also serves as a protagonist in that it provides a number of very serious challenges to Holmes and Watson in solving this most perplexing mystery.

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The moor surrounding Baskerville Hall is an appropriate setting for the strange goings-on in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The dark, vast expanses of moorland lend themselves easily to murder, bloodshed, and mystery. They represent, in physical terms, the dark heart of the vicious hound—or is it an even more vicious human?—stalking the land in search of prey.

More importantly, though, the moor plays the role of antagonist. Its sheer size makes it all the more difficult for Holmes and Watson to get to the bottom of this seemingly unfathomable mystery. People who live in the area are separated by vast distances, making it difficult for even the world’s greatest detective to gather the necessary clues and eyewitness accounts needed to solve the crime.

Locating the eponymous hound is also made considerably more difficult by the moor’s size, as there are any number of places where it could be lurking, lying in wait to sink its blood-stained fangs deep into the next unsuspecting victim....

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