Reverend Hale In The Crucible

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“Mr. Hale is nearing forty, a tight-skinned, eager-eyed intellectual.” (32, Arthur Miller). He is a minister from Beverly who has been summoned to Salem by Reverend Parris to investigate his daughter Betty’s condition and whether or not there is witchcraft in Salem. If he finds there to be witchcraft, he would then eliminate it. Hale devotes himself to his faith and his work. His good intentions, and sincere desire to help the afflicted, motivate him. He wants nothing more than to get to the bottom of this situation and come out the hero. Unfortunately, this also makes him vulnerable. His desire for discovering witchcraft allows others, particularly Abigail, to manipulate him. Nonetheless, Hale 's perspective does not stay constant. In The…show more content…
He is not only considered an expert in witchcraft, but he wholeheartedly agrees that he is. Reverend Hale places emphasis on doing things in a precise and respectable manner. He relies heavily on the power of the written word and pays no heed to superstition. For example, when Reverend Parris comments on how heavy the books must be that Reverend Hale is carrying, Reverend Hale replies, "They must be; they are weighted with authority" (36). This statement reveals some of Reverend Hale’s ego. He believes that the written word, whether it is in books, or written as the law, has an authoritative voice in society. He is very prideful of the fact that he is the one that bears this knowledge. It is what gives Reverend Hale his authority and respect. Without his books, Reverend Hale would be no better than the others, just a man with an opinion. “Now let me instruct you. We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise . . . and I tell you all that I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of hell upon her.” (38). Reverend Hale uses his knowledge of witchcraft to look for a supernatural explanation into Betty’s behavior because he does not wish to turn to superstition as the root of the problem. As a result, he latches onto the first signs of…show more content…
He also begins to see Abigail for the liar she is. Unfortunately, everyone is so fixed on condemning these “witches” in order to cleanse their righteous town, that they ignore Reverend Hale’s revised opinion. For example, Hale defends Goody Proctor after she lied saying that her husband was not a lecher. Hale knows now that Proctor will hang. Upset and determined, Hale tries to change the judge 's mind, "Excellency, it is a natural lie to tell; I beg you, stop now before another is condemned! I may shut my conscience to it no more-private vengeance is working through this testimony! From the beginning this man has struck me true. By my oath to Heaven, I believe him now . . ." (114). Unfortunately, Abigail creates a distraction and Danforth is easily engulfed in her lies. When Danforth judges unfairly at the end of Act III, Hale exclaims, "I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court!" (120). This shows Hale 's complete and utter disrespect for a court that he used to do his work
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