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Compare and Contrast the Two Ministers- Parris and Hale. Consider the Changes in Each as the Whole Business takes its Course

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the Two Ministers- Parris and Hale. Consider the Changes in Each as the Whole Business takes its Course Firstly, to clarify, the two ministers in the play are Reverend Samuel Parris and Reverend John Hale. Parris is the local Reverend in Salem, where the play is set. Hale is a Reverend in a nearby town of Beverly and is considered to be an expert on witchcraft because he had studied the topic extensively and has a degree in it. His degree was from Harvard, a top university within the U.S. Therefore he is the authoritative figure in the opening scenes. The opening scene gives us an excellent indication of the type of person Parris is. He is bent over the bedside of his daughter, Betty, and at first seems to be a caring father, worried that his daughter has fallen ill. However, we soon realise that this is not the case and three aspects of his personality surface from his speech towards Abigail, his niece. It becomes clear that he is a paranoid man, power hungry and more worried about his reputation throughout the community rather than his daughter's well-being. By far the best quote to demonstrate his paranoia and also his main concern is found early on in the scene when addressing Abigail and asking her about the subject of witchcraft. ...read more.

Middle

Once he has arrived he talks with authority ad knowledge on his subject. This is clearly shown when prompted by Thomas Putnam on the signs of witchcraft. "The Devil is precise: the marks of his presence are definite as stone." He then goes on to enquire about the occurrences in the forest and to ask questions about the nature of people in the town. He questions Abigail and Tituba on the happenings in the forest to form a picture of what happened. Whether or not the interrogation is completely necessary can be argued and it is more likely he wishes to be seen as being thorough and leaving no stone unturned. However, this pressure on others leads to them accusing others of being witches and it is this which starts the escalation. During this time, Proctor engages in a meeting with Parris and Proctor has a dim view of the man. This leads to some bickering and Parris uses the witchcraft speculation to state that he wants to ensure an "obedience to the Church," but reacts badly to Proctor's statements. He reacted to the argument as though it was a personal insult against him and his allegation that Proctor leads a faction in the Church intent on bringing about his downfall reveals further the paranoia of the man. ...read more.

Conclusion

Parris does play a part in trying to convince him, surprisingly. Parris asks Rebecca to plead with him to sign the warrant and also wants Rebecca to go after him when he is taken to the gallows. His reputation would also be on the line as Parris hadn't reckoned on Proctor's popularity and so in one last attempt Hale returns once again from Beverly to persuade him to sign a confession and Parris joins in as well. They fail and Proctor is seen as a hero, for dying in what he believed in and not bowing down to pressure. Parris later resigned from office and leaves Salem. In summary, it is quite clear that the intentions of Parris are purely selfish and he uses the trials to make a grasp at power. Hale at first comes into a situation that has not developed and doesn't realise the scale of it until too late. He is an intellectual and a sensible man and although tries to do the right thing the matter is taken out of his hands before he can do anything about it. The two differ a lot as Hale is not interested in developing authority in a town that is not his own and is concerned with the matter of witchcraft. His actions are sincere. Parris is a self-centred man, only concerned with his own interests. He manipulates the people and the situation in Salem to suit himself. Neil Christie 10N English The Crucible ...read more.

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