This setting takes place in Salem, the location of the actual Salem Witch Trials. The action that takes place is based on the true details uncovered about the actual events of 1692, however, the character relationship between Abigail Williams and John Proctor is exaggerated. It is unlikely that an adulterous relationship would have happened between the two. In fact, the sin of adultery would have been scandalous in the Puritan town of Salem.
The setting and plot directly match each other so that the hysteria of the era could be portrayed. This hysteria matched the historical hysteria occuring during the time of the author's writing: the 1950s. During the 50s, a sort of witch hunt occured in looking for communist friendly people in the United States. Miller's work was an intentional comment on this House Committee on Un-American Activities who went after communists, or friends of communists.
The plot and setting are two of the only aspects laid perfectly in tact. Miller changes dialect to be palatable for a modern-day audience.