Reverend Hale in The Crucible

Reverend Hale in The Crucible

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Reverend Hale in The Crucible

Reverend Hale's attitude has changed completely throughout his stay in Salem. After Reverend Parris saw some girls including Abigail, Tituba, and Betty dancing and conjuring spirits in the woods, he called Hale to Salem. These woods are forbidden; the dancing and conjuring are signs of the devil in the puritan society. Called from Beverly, a special reverend, Hale's job is to search a town for any signs of Lucifer. Reverend Parris has obviously seen some work of the devil in his niece Abigail, slave Tituba, and daughter Betty. Reverend Hale has three different feelings throughout the play. In the beginning Hale was just doing his job and passionate about purging this town of the devil. In the middle of the play Hale is upset with how the trial is going and he fells the girls are lying about the convicted people setting their spirit on the girls. By the end of the play Hale has lost all faith in the court system and is very upset with judge Danforth's stubbornness.
Hale is simply a hard working reverend who takes his job very seriously. He is very stern and is set in his ways. He is set in his ways in which he is only in Salem to do his job and not to take it personally. In his line of work he may have to convict people who eventually get hanged for witchcraft. When Hale first arrived in Salem he said "In these books the Devil stands stripped of all his brute disguises. Here are all your familiar spirits-your incubi and succubi; your witches that go by land, by air, and by sea; your wizards of the night and of the day. Have no fear now-we shall find him out if he has come among us, and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!" (Miller 185). This quote shows how he is very intent on finding any signs of the devil and will show no mercy.
After many of the people are convicted of witchcraft Hale can see there is something wrong. He knows all the girls are lying when they pretend to be attacked by the convicted people's spirits. Abigail starts the stories and she being a strong leader is followed by the young er and weaker girls. Eventually the wives of John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Francis Nurse are convicted.

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These good loving husbands get a petition with ninety-one names, saying that their wives are good honest people not able to be guilty of witchcraft. In this scene Reverend Parris wants to question the people who signed the petition, but Francis has given his word that the names would be kept secret. Parris remarks that by not giving the names it is a clear attack on the court. This is when Reverend Hale jumps in to say "Is every defense an attack upon the court? Can no one-?"(Miller 212). This is a very significant quote because this is the first time Hale crosses the thine line and speaks up against the court. This is not a usual act of a reverend who should have faith in the court system and never doubt it. Another strong quote of Reverend Hale is after John Proctor has admitted to lechery and Elizabeth denies her husband is a lecher. Hale knows now that Proctor will hang so he speaks in his defense to Danforth. Upset and determined, Hale tries to change the judge's mind : " Excellency, it is natural a natural lie to tell; I beg you, stop now before another is condemned! I may shut my conscience ti 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, and I pray you call back his wife before we-" (Miller 223). Hale knows that Abigail had an affair with John, tried to ger Elizabeth hanged, and lied to the court. He tries his best to save John by using his affiliation with god to prove Johns innocence. This quote demonstrates how Hale is upset with the trial and is not the same dedicated man who once put all his faith into the court.
The last emotion that Hale feels is entire disbelief in the court system. In the scene when John Proctor and Giles Corey are taken away into custody Hale says : "I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court!"(Miller 227). This quote shows Hals's complete and utter dis- respect for a court that he is associated with. He has now crossed a line between his old self who put all his faith into the court, to a man who has absolutely no respect for it. He cannot take part in a system that wrongfully hangs innocent people so, he simply denounces his affiliation with the court and leaves. This is a very bold statement, such that a reverend who's job is to take the side of the theocracy that governs this town. This statement is bold because this is a religious run court and the special priest involved in this trial doesn't even agree with the verdict. Another quote that gives evidence to his new belief is when Danforth asks Hale if he had preached in Andover this month. Hale replied : "Thank god they have no need of me in Andover"(Miller 233). Hale is basically saying he is glad that he doesn't have to go through what happened in Salem again. He is sick of the courts and Danforth's stubbornness in which they will believe all accusations that people make.
Hale came to Salem a devoted reverend who put all his faith in the courts in which he worked. After Abigail made false accusations Hale starts to doubt the integrity of the court. When John and Elizabeth Proctor are convicted of witchcraft Reverend Hale completely loses all trust in the court and leaves Salem. Someone reading this play by Arthur Miller can feel more emotional towards Hale's character because he thinks similar to the reader when they hear the false accusations in the court. We know the girls do not really see any spirits attacking them and so does Hale. He is a sensible man that we can comply with. Someone is his shoes from our society might have acted the same way he did in these trials.
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