Hale’s Character in Arthur Miller’s Play The Crucible
A discussion of the character of Reverend John Hale in the play “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller
In literature, there are different types of characters. There are the types of characters that change during the story and some that don’t, dynamic and static. There is also how the character is described in the story. They might be flat, meaning the character is stereotyped, or he might be rounded, being the author described him in such a way as to just barely know him enough to tell the story.
In the play The Crucible by Author Miller, Reverend John hale is a dynamic rounded character. In Act I, the reverend is described as an eager-eyed intellectual pondering the invisible world. Hale seeks witches and gets them to confess, so god can bless them and rid them of the devil. An example of this is when he said to Betty, “In nomine Domini Sabaoth sui filiique ite ad infernos,” which means: In the name of the lord of hosts and his son get thee to the lower world.
This shows reverend Hales views on witchery.
Another example of Hale’s character and his savings of witches is when he said, “Now Tituba, I know that when we bind ourselves to Hell it is very hard to break with it. We are going to help you tear yourself free-” The point when Reverend Hale begins to change is in Act III during the trial of John Proctor. “I am a minister of the lord, and I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.” He starts to doubt if the very thing that he searches to rid the people of might be a lie. Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own…where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up. Beware Goody Proctor-cleave to no faith when faith brings blood.
Reverend Hale realizes his job of finding and ridding the world of witches is false. “It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice.” He no longer believes in witches. Hale urges Goody Proctor to get her husband to confess to save his life. Reverend Hale’s character changed from believing in witches and saving their souls from the devil to saving their lives from a lie. The cause of this is from interrogating the people of Salem of witchcraft, …I find it hard to draw a clear opinion of them that come accused before the court.” “…life is God’s most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it…God damns a liar less than he that throws his life away for pride.
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