In the start of the reader’s acquaintance with Reverend Hale, he is portrayed as a “…nearly forty…tight-skinned, eager-eyed intellectual,”—a formal and adamant individual (---). The seemingly perfect savior, Hale yet possesses an unspeakable vice; idealism. He graces the community eager to seek and eradicate the source Betty of her ‘satanic’ chokehold, but fails to see the foreboding clouds that churn a sinister storm over Salem as a whole, as the town had earlier been taken into the custody of a select few’s suspicion, vengeance, and hysteria. Ignorant to this fact and deeply certain of his cause, Hale diligently works at his case as a myriad of other witchcraft cases pour into the higher courts of Salem. He claims he will rid Betty of the unholy forces working within her even ...
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Hale eventually completely loses faith in the courts, citizens and self-proclaimed piety of Salem and its citizens. In a last attempt to salvage Proctor’s life, Hale begs of Proctor’s wife to “prevail upon [her] husband to [falsely] confess,” simply to dissuade his accusers from asserting the death penalty upon him (81). Hale beings now to doubt his own faith, questioning how his Puritanism; so perfect, just, and reasonable, could allow such malicious chaos and outright evil to break loose and prey upon the poor innocents like the late John Proctor.
Despite the drastic change in Reverend Hale’s perspective on the Salem witchcraft trials’ credibility, one thing remains static in his character—good intentions. Throughout the novel, his resolute objectiveness and purity in motives arguably make Reverend Hale the most admirable character in Miller’s masterpiece.
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