The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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What role does setting play in act 3 of The Crucible?

The role of the setting in act 3 of The Crucible is to create irony and tension and to deeply affect the mood of the play. Prior to this act, we might feel hopeful that Proctor, Corey, and Nurse will be able to save their wives, but Danforth's incredible lack of discernment renders this an impossibility.

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The setting of act 3 is the courtroom in Salem Village, and the Deputy Governor of the province, Danforth, is presiding. A courtroom is a place of judgment, not mercy, and no mercy is extended here. The courtroom is a place where people are supposed to tell the truth and where the judges are supposed to be able to determine who is telling the truth and who is not. This setting, then, creates a...

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