A Character Analysis Of Reverend Hale In "The Crucible."

1136 words - 5 pages

Reverend HaleIn Arthur Miller's, The Crucible, when characters are faced with adversity, they are forced to show their true morals and beliefs. The character of Reverend Hale fights a battle between what ideasl have been engraved in his mind by books and society, and what he feels in his soul is truly right. In the end his soul prevails and finds him completely changed. Because he is a character with such high moral standards regarding everything he does, he sees the flaws and falsities of the witch trials and changes from naively believing completely in witchcraft, to losing all faith in the religion of Salem and deciding that earthly life is superlative and worth lying for.At first, Reverend Hale's character is concrete in his beliefs on witchcraft and is sure of his duty to carry out the will of God. He has dedicated his whole life to the Puritan religion and learning about witches and witchcraft. In this call to Salem he sees his first opportunity to put his knowledge and dedication to work. When introducing him, Miller describes Hale as, "a tight skinned, eager-eyed intellectual. This is a beloved errand for him; on being called here to ascertain witchcraft he has felt the pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for" (32). Hale enters in a flurry of activity, carrying large books and projecting an air of great knowledge. He becomes the force behind the trials, passionately searching out the evil among the people in Salem, and putting all his efforts into redeeming them. What is more significant about Hale's character in this early part is not his actions, but motives. His motives are always for the good of the people and what is right to God. This goodness is what leads to his transformation because it helps him to see the true good and evil when others are blinded by their pride or ulterior motives.As more and more people are convicted, Hale begins to doubt himself. His inner conflict builds with every person accused and convicted, because he senses the innocence of these people. He has trouble believing that characters such as Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor could possibly be involved in witchcraft. His doubts are assured and solidified when he witnesses John Proctor accusing Abigail and the other girls of lying. Speaking to Danforth about his doubts on the accusations, he says, "I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it" (99). And then when talking about having to convict Rebecca Nurse, he says, "I'll not conceal it, may hand shakes yet as with a wound!" (100).These two quotes show how Hale's character shows increasing doubt on something which he at first very adamantly believed. He senses more and more the falsity of the girl's testimonies, and when John Proctor testifies, Hale realizes that he can no longer deny his suspicions. It becomes obvious where the truth lies, but out of all the officials of the court, only Hale is able...

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