The Dynamic Reverend Hale In The Crucible By Arthur Miller

2316 words - 9 pages


John Hale is the minister of Beverly, which has been summoned to Salem to discover and

extinguish supposed witchcraft in the town of Salem, Mass. in the colonial period. Hale

overgoes a gradual change of character and belief as the play unfolds. As a dynamic

character? Though a gradual change it is, the change drastically changes his views and

ideas of what is God’s will and where his priorities lie.

	The end of Act One exhibits the audience a zealous priest, Reverend John Hale,

looking for evidence of witchcraft, real or make believe. Most convenient for Hale the

town of Salem has more than enough evidence for him to become ecstatic about.

Although he does express that, "We can not look to superstition in this. The Devil is

precise; the marks of his presence are as definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I

shall not precede unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of hell

upon her" (38), it is a mere empty promise, since before the ending of Act One he already

mentally decides Salem is plagued with witchcraft, with or without concrete evidence to

support his allegation. Hale uses such scant evidence as Putnam’s death of her first seven

children and Giles’ wife reading of strange books which keep him from reciting the Lord’s

prayer. Ironically, he encounters, Tituba, after hearing that this Barbados slave had been

practicing voodoo with the afflicted girls. After Hale puts immense pressure on Tituba to

proclaim herself a witch Hale is able to manipulate Tituba to claim that she had used

witchcraft on the girls. After declaring herself a witch she accuses the names of four

honest and innocent women, thus starting the chain affect of accused witches accusing

others of witchcraft, that soon would follow. So Hale, single-handedly, who was

manipulated by Abigail’s lies and false fits, started the entire conflict with his aggressive

technique to propel Tituba to confess to association with the devil, which in truth had

never covenanted.

	At the time in Act Two that Hale enters there is a presence of guilt about him,

which foretells what his mission in the Proctor’s house is, to question Elizabeth on the

suspicion of practicing witchcraft on Abigail Williams. So, to begin to further his case in

witchcraft he confronts Mr. Proctor about his lack of attendance to church and about one

of his children not being baptized. Proctor answers both of these question with his

disapproval of greed Rev. Parris. Hale even demands to hear the Lord’s ten

commandments form both Mr. and Mrs. Proctor. Hale scrutinizes and probes the

Proctors the entire visit for any form of evidence that he could associate with the traits of

a witch. That all changes though, something is told to Hale that blows his mind,

something he doesn’t scarcely believe at first, that Abigail Willaims told, to Proctor’s face,

that there was no such act of witchcraft in Salem, whatsoever. Proctor...

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