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Reverend Hale is a dynamic character in Miller's The
Crucible as he is challenged by John Proctor's
courage. He starts out very convincing and seems to
know exactly what he wants. John Proctor is a very
strong and courageous character. He influences
Reverend Hale so much that Hale completely changes his
mind about Salem, the court, and witches.
Reverend Hale enters Salem as a very strong character
that knows what he wants to do. He is very sure of
himself. "They must be, they are weighted with
authority" (p. 36). When he arrives in Salem, he is
absolutely sure of witchcraft. "The devil is
precise-the marks of his presence are as definite as
stone." (p. 38), "Are you gathering souls for the
devil?" (p. 44); "Who came to you with the devil?" and
".perhaps another person in the village?" (p. 45). A
few of his faults are that he judges too much by
appearances, ".you look as such a good soul should"
(p. 37); ".a claim so weighty cannot be argued by a
farmer," (p. 99); and he uses people to question other
people. "How can you bear to see this child
suffering?" (p. 45); "In the book of record Mr. Parris
keeps." (p. 64); "The man's ordained, therefore he
must have the light of god in him." (p. 66). Reverend
Hale has a lot of wisdom to share with Salem. "Man,
remember, until an hour before the devil fell, God
thought him beautiful in heaven," (p. 71); ".private
vengeance is working through testimony," (p. 114).
John Proctor is a strong and courageous character who
will not give in easily to his accusers. In the end
of The Crucible he denies the charges of witchcraft.
He says he will never confess that. He could be free
of charges if he confesses, but it is a false
accusation and he doesn't want anything corrupting his
name. He is a very good person who just wants to
please everyone, especially his wife. He says, "I'll
buy George Jacobs heifer. How would that please
you?"; "I mean only to please you, Elizabeth." The
fact that he only wants to please people is what gets
him into trouble. He tries too hard to tell people
only what they want to hear.
This all results in Hale changing his mind about the
court, the witches, and Salem. He is very
disappointed with how the people of Salem acted. He
was outraged by the way they accused people they
didn't like of being witches, just so they would have
to deal with them anymore. He hated the way the girls
who cried out did it all following Abigail Williams.
He despised the way so many people jumped to
conclusions about the people that they had known since
they were children, people who were their neighbors,
their friends, and sadly even their spouse or
children. He decides to completely leave the court,
and try to defend the victims of the girls, crying
out, "I quit this court" (p. 120). He knows that
people were making false accusations about the
witches, and he knows that if he hadn't showed up
talking about the witches, it probably wouldn't have
happened that way. He tries to get people out of
trouble to make up for his mistakes. "Excellency, it
is enough he confess himself," (p. 141).
This shows Reverend Hale turns into a dynamic
character in Miller's The Crucible when he's
challenged and amazed by the courage of John Proctor.
At the beginning, he is a very unfaltering character
and seems to know exactly what he wants to accomplish
in Salem. John Proctor starts a very solid and brave
character and remains that way throughout the book.
John Proctor's influence on Reverend Hale is so great
that Hale completely changes his mind about Salem, the
court, and the witches.
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Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor, John Hale, Witchcraft, Abigail Williams, Salem, Massachusetts, Crucible, Salem, Hale
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