Hale does not start out as such however. In fact he is the reason the witch hunts are started. In the beginning of the play Hale is called to Salem to determine whether or not witchcraft is afoot. Witchcraft is expertise, and Hale, eager and naïve, wants to determine whether or not the devil is in Salem. His analysis is that Tituba is controlling the girls’ souls, leading the girls, starting with Abigail of course, to shout out various people they saw convening with the devil while they were under the control of Tituba. Hale, blindly and unquestioningly conforms to the rest of the town and believes the girls. In fact he leads the way, resulting in fourteen arrests. He is completely unphased by this, and wholly believes that they are all witches and that by arresting them he is doing God’s work.
In Act II Hale, in his true moral values which do not change throughout the course of the play, goes to each house questioning the inhabitants on their loyalty to Christianity. He winds up at the Proctor home, where he questions both John and Elizabeth, who are angry at the reasoning of the questioning. They find out that he has questioned Rebecca Nurse as well and this anger...
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...tension was picked up by Proctor sooner than most realized that Hale in fact did not believe what he was saying about the court. This aided proctor in doing what he knew was right. It was certainly not the main factor in Proctor’s quest for the defeat of the courts, but it undoubtedly contributed to his reasoning. Hale’s tensions also made Parris, Danforth, and the rest of the folks down at the old courthouse very nervous, which made them encourage the witch hunts even more, pressing the girls for more accusations.
Hale’s radical change takes place throughout the play in three stages and throughout the play contributes greatly. He is the model by which the townspeople follow, though they are behind him they do eventually take his stance on the trials. His conformity and inward questioning are quintessential examples of what every story needs: the unsure character.
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