John Hale The Crucible Analysis

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Reverend John Hale: Character Arc Incarnate The Salem Witch Trials was an event of mass witch hunting hysteria that occurred between 1692 and 1693. A group of girls caught dancing and practicing forbidden behavior in the forest convinced the magistrates that men and women had sent out their familiars to bewitch the girls. These first accusations quickly evolved into a hysterical crusade against all “witches”, which often allowed people to vent long-held grudges. One of these girls who started things, and plays a large part in Arthur Miller’s portrayal of these times, The Crucible, is Abigail Williams, 11 at the time. Although other important characters such as the protagonist, John Proctor, his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, and the primary judge,…show more content…
From a man who came to Salem revelling in the fact that his hard won expertise would be put to good use, to a man struggling with his conscience and nearly openly proclaiming the witch trials falsity, Hale changed into a different man over the course of the book. His change would seem like common sense now; no one would believe that witches were enchanting girls and torturing them. However, the extremity of the religion at this time affected how long the false claims were believed. His realization was, for the time, progressive. Arthur Miller did a good job of portraying the Salem Witch Trials in The Crucible. In real life, Reverend John Hale was a well respected expert on the work of the Devil from Beverly, called into Salem to help investigate the girls. He was one of the first to suggest the girls were tormented by outside sources, and helped spearhead the search for the guilty. However, as the number of accusations increased, so did his disbelief of them. He was probably teetering on the brink of for and against the trials, when his wife was accused and it put him over the edge. After this he came out against the Salem Witch Trials, proclaiming them hysteric. Years later, he published a book commenting on the witch trials. Although the book never denies that witches are real, his book did say that the fear that everyone felt that people were compelled to believe the girls’ accusations, “Such was the darkness of the day, the tortures and lamentations of the afflicted, and the power of the former presidents, that we walked in the clouds, and could not see our way. And we have most cause to be humbled for error on that hand, which cannot be retrieved.” This quote shows Hale admitting his wrongs, and apologizing for his errors. He goes on to say that they may be stained with sin for all of their afterlives, and it would not be unjust, but that he wishes for God to blot out their sin because they were
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