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The first act is set in Parris' home and begins in Betty's bedroom, where she lays sleeping and suffering from an unknown illness. Parris is praying for his daughter at her bedside. Both Parris and the other characters are worried and upset about Betty's condition. The mood is unsettled.
Act II is set at the Proctor home. Elizabeth is singing to her children, as her husband returns from his daily activities. As the scene progresses, we see another home that is unsettled for different reasons. We immediately sense the division in the home, and quickly pick up on the couple's tension.