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The Reverend John Hale embodies the growing awareness of the illegality and immorality of the Salem witch trials.

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Kit Carrau 5th January 2002 The Crucible by Arthur Miller The Reverend John Hale embodies the growing awareness of the illegality and immorality of the Salem witch trials. The Crucible is set in Salem, Massachusetts, USA, and is a study in the mass hysteria which led to the 1692 Salem Witchcraft trials. The trials then led to the execution of twenty people. Arthur Miller was born on 17th October 1915 in New York and wrote The Crucible in 1953. This was in the middle of the McCarthy Witch Hunt in America. McCarthyism was an anti-communist crusade in America that started in the early 1950's and led by Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy. The Crucible was meant to be seen as a political parable to this. This is because the McCarthy trials were very similar to the 1692 Salem Witch trials. In the Crucible, the Reverend John Hale embodies the growing awareness of the illegality and immorality of the Salem Witch trials. In the essay I will focus on the situation that Hale walks into when he makes his entrance to the play. I will also focus on the way the audience perceives him, the changes he undergoes and his reflection on the Salem community. Reverend John Hale is brought into Salem after Betty Parris is taken ill and Dr Walcott could not find any answer to her illness. ...read more.


Tituba is Parris's female black slave who he brought from Barbados to America. She stands out in the community and has been given a misinterpreted identity because she is black. This is because she is the only one in Salem who is black and stands out from the rest. Hale asks Tituba (Act I page 36): 'Women, have you enlisted these children for the Devil?' Tituba tells Hale that she does not interact with the devil. Abigail starts making up things that have not happened. This makes Tituba get even more upset as she once thought that Abigail was her friend. Abigail tells Hale that 'she sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer' (Act I, page 36). Hale and Parris believe what Abigail is saying and shout at Tituba even more. It is hard for Tituba with two white men shouting at her and speaking a language she is familiar with. Then Parris says that 'This woman should be hanged! She must be taken and hanged!' This scares Tituba and makes her say what they want her to say. This is that she saw the devil and can now brake away from him. Hale prompts her: 'Then you saw him' (Act I, page 37) ...read more.


At the beginning of the play Hale feels very strong and emotional about finding a witch in Salem. This is the same for the rest of the community. Later on in the play when his sympathies lie with the accused rather that the victims the rest of the community do not agree. It is only the families and close friends of the accused who support his views. The rest of the community think that anyone who is accused is guilty no matter what. Hale thinks at the end of the play that the courts in Salem are immoral and has seen how they have become disillusioned. The rest of the community totally disagrees with this. Danforth tells Hale (Act III, page 75): 'All innocent and Christian people are happy for the courts in Salem' Hale learns from the Salem trials that it is impossible to have a fair trail when dealing with witchcraft. Hale learns this from when Danforth tells him that in a witchcraft trail you can only have the accused and the witness (Act III, page 80): 'an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim'. This means that it is only the victim's word against the accused and will not be a fair trial This essay supports the statement that the Reverend John Hale embodies the growing awareness of the illegality and immorality of the Salem witch trials. - 1 - ...read more.

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