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The Crucible - Why at the end of the play do we admire Hale yet despise Parris?

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English Coursework Why at the end of the play do we admire Hale yet despise Parris? At the end of the play, Hale is admired and Parris is despised. The two men are intentionally different in character; Hale is the better of them. He seeks justice while Parris thinks of himself. From as early as Parris' first stage direction "(scrambling to his feet in a fury)" he is worried and nervous, which at first thought could illustrate worry for his daughter's life but when, later on, he says "...my ministry's at stake, my ministry and perhaps your cousin's life" to Abigail, he illustrates the fact that he cares more for his parish than he does for the well being of his own family. He can be likened to a capitalist anti-communist governor with a communist daughter and niece. He knows his daughter and niece are communists, and has stumbled upon a secret meeting. For people to know this would be the end of a capitalist like this in the 1950s, when the play was written, so the natural human thing to do is to deny and to shift the focus or blame onto someone else. ...read more.


Hale arrives and is calm, unlike Parris. He refers to the devil as "the Old Boy", a term which suggests he is not being as serious as he could be, and is therefore not as scared and doesn't fear for himself as much as Parris, who we have seen feels more for himself than anyone else. In this introduction of Hale, there are only three people involved: Parris, Hale, and Rebecca Nurse. With only three people speaking, the levels of tension and confusion are low and all is calm. It's only when the Salem witchcraft is mentioned by Thomas Putnam that more people are noticed again. Thomas Putnam, Ann Putnam, Giles Corey, and John Proctor are heard and we are aware of the other people and tension increases. This leads to Ann Putnam revealing her trafficking with the devil, a tense section. Act 3 is the act within the courtroom. Miller, again, appeals to our sense of hearing at the beginning when only voices are heard. Hale's first piece of dialogue is "Excellency (Danforth), he (Giles Corey) ...read more.


He does not take a huge role in finding evidence until he is questioning John Proctor, who he wants to see in jail. This is more proof of the trials being vengeance and accusation based. It is not until act four that Parris repents and he realises his selfishness. He, like Hale, tries to talk the condemned prisoners into admitting to witchcraft and have their lives spared. When John Proctor eventually admitted his 'involvement' in witchcraft, Parris rejoices by saying "Praise God!". Though this does seem to show that everyone knows that the proceedings have all been lies, as confessors are thanked, even though they have admitted to betraying God. People like Parris and Danforth would be pleased to find out that they have not cost another life needlessly. However, it took the theft of Parris' money to convince him to help the prisoners, so we despise him even more than we did before, as he has shown us he is more selfish than we could think he could possibly be. So the main reason for our hate of Parris and respect and admiration for Hale is that one man thinks to help others while the other thinks to help himself, at the cost of many lives. ...read more.

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