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The Crucible

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Robin Perry Year 10 drama assignment part B Hale is one of the most important characters in The Crucible. All of the characters contribute to the problems in Salem to some extent. But Hale is the catalyst to the hysteria beginning and it is how is awareness of this increases through the play that causes the major changes we see in his character. Hale himself, as we are told by miller, "...nearing forty, a tight skinned eager eyed intellectual." He feels great pride at being asked to come and identify the signs of witchcraft and sees it as a compliment to his experience in his chosen field. Unlike the other characters his experience gives him no reason to jump to the immediate conclusion of the involvement of the devil. Because of this he is perhaps the most common sense of the officials in Salem. Hales entrance in act 1 creates a big change in the direction of the scene, but it is important to remember he is unaware of this. How miller uses Hales entrances effectively is that he calms down the situation between Giles and Putnam when they cease their argument at his arrival but eventually he will excite the scene even more with his powerful redemption of Tituba and Abigail. ...read more.


As we enter the increasingly hysterical ending to this act, Hales role in causing this is obvious. His quickening questioning of her is perhaps caused by his anger at her apparent lack of concern for Bettys condition and her attempts to evade answering his questions. " (grasping Abigail): abigail it may be your cousin is dying. Did you call the devil last night? " "you cannot evade me, Abigail." Hale is excited at the end of act 1 because he believes he has got to the root of the problem when Tituba and Abigail "redeem" themselves and pass the blame to Good and Osburn. Because of this both hale and Parris see the problem as ending not beginning. Hale has obviously seen the situation last a lot longer than he expected when he enters in act 2. "he is different now- drawn a little, and there is a quality of deference, even of guilt, about his manner now." This shows us the beginning of his realisation of the consequences of the accusations that he has caused to be made. ...read more.


To conclude, Hale changes most of all the characters, yet like the others he changes in that his main characteristics are strengthened. His honesty and sense of public duty are there throughout the play, how they change is to which end they're directed. He is initially convinced of the presence and existence of witchcraft, and works vigorously to combat it in the only he knows how. Yet he is the only of the prosecutors who is convinced of the innocence of the accused, he still believes his first duty is the protection of others, but loses his principles to do so at the end. He is more open minded and humane than the others, but the message of the play tells us to reject the position to which he finally comes. He doesn't reject just the religious fanaticism of the times but rejects religion itself. His attempts to save John Proctor ultimately fail, because in turning his back on the church, he has turned his back on what Elizabeth believes is right, and so his argument is worthless to her. Perhaps Millers idea in Hale is that where the simple farmer sees the mistake in preferring life over personal integrity the learned Hale does not. ...read more.

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