Reverend Hale's Dilemmas In The Crucible

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The witch scare of 1692, caused by a group of young girls, created insanity in the town of Salem leaving two hundred people arrested and twenty dead on the charge of witchcraft. In The Crucible by Arthur Miller, many peoples beliefs on witchcraft change and develop over the course of this time due to the persecution of hundreds of people in Salem. Reverend Hale is among these people, originally coming to help the people of Salem as a master in the study of witchcraft but overtime changes his thoughts on the matter. Reverend Hale 's views on witchcraft are altered over the course of the play.
Reverend Hale 's beliefs in witchcraft are strong in the opening of the play. In the beginning of the play Hale travels to Salem to help identify the
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As Hale gets to know the people of Salem who are now accused he begins to question the trials and the presence of witchcraft itself. After Elizabeth Proctor, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey, all highly respected women of the village, are condemned Hale finally comes to his senses about the girls when he says: “I may shut my conscience to it no more-private vengeance is working through this testimony”(1208). Hale comes to the realization that the girls are using the cry of witchcraft to punish whoever they please in the town. He can no longer believe these honest Christian people are conjuring with the devil just based on the accusation of young girls and no real proof. Hale then goes against his practice to convince the accused to confess to save to their lives: Hale goes to Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey and begs them to confess to witchcraft even though he knows they are not guilty of it. Hale knows if they confess they will serve jail time but at least they will not be hung (1222). Hale explains to them that if they lie and confess, God would not be as upset with them as he would if they gave up their lives for being honest. Hale’s doubt of witchcraft is present because he knows the women are not guilty but wants them to confess. He feels very guilty for being apart of the deaths of so many people and will do anything to save anyone he can. In a way, he has abandoned his practice in an attempt to try to save people 's
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