Essay on The Dynamic Reverend Hale in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Essay on The Dynamic Reverend Hale in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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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 an...


... middle of paper ...


...of God. Then onto Act Two, we discover an

even more aggressive man, one who has already signed eleven warrants of arrest which he

approved of on the testimony of a few mere schoolgirls as the only form of evidence. Not

until he himself witnesses Elizabeth Proctor be taken into custody, his catharsis, on such

scant spectral evidence does he begin to believe that hysteria and vengeance are actually

all that is taking place and that he is also blinded by the lies of Abigail Williams. Act

Three, Hale is now a true believer in the court being unjust, but not yet a fully devotee to

the redemption of the innocent. His heart and mind lay in the correct place by leaving the

court but has not taken the next step to complete transformation by taking action. The

audience sees a complete different man, a man who sees his previous sins for what they

truly are in Act Four. A man who needs to assist those he has condemned to death. A

man with a moral obligation to protect those lives that he has put into jeopardy with his

previous zealous behavior. ...Yes. Yes, there is a immense positive change in Hale from

the beginning of the play to the end. Yes, Rev. Hale is a dynamic character.

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