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Act III begins with the characters hidden from view behind a partitioned wall.
This is important because
it indicates the theme of secrecy that will be present throughout the act.
it is a realistic depiction of how a dialogue would be uttered behind closed doors.
it makes the audience wonder who is having a hidden conversation.
the reveal of these characters will cause a major conflict to emerge.
it is an effective way to introduce the character of Judge Hathorne.