In Arthur Miller’s 1952 play The Crucible, Hale appears in Act 1 as a response to Reverend Parris’ request to examine his daughter Betty Parris. Hale devoted most of his life to the study of witchcraft and other demonic practices in the hopes of being able to destroy them in the name of God. As a devout Christian, Hale sees it has his duty to seek out the witches of the Salem village and “save their souls”.
A few of Reverend Hale’s actions show the changes he undergoes in the play. For example, Reverend Hale has been asked to study Reverend Parris’ daughter Betty Parris to state whether she has been attacked by the devil or not. When Hale arrives at the home Reverend Parris’, Hale “appears loaded down with a half of dozen of heavy books” (36) portraying his high education and proving that if anything difficult coming his way, he will be ready because of his books he has to fall back on. Because of this, Hale only looks more intelligent and begins to gain the trust of the people in Salem. Hale takes it upon himself to visit the home of the Proctors and other families to seek truth. When Hale goes to visit the Proctors, there is a change in him, a sense of guilt, but it is a good thing. As Hale continues to seek the root of the problem, he becomes more and more doubtful each day, of finding truth. Also, Hale begins to feel guilt, because of his calling to seek out the demonic practices being done haven’t been found, feeling hopeless and disappointed in himself.
Reverend Hale undergoes many changes in this play. Because of his “educational background” in witchcraft and overall intelligence, Hale creates a central conflict within himself. Reverend Hale is a part of the court dealing with the witch trials. He does not agree with the way things are being handled in the court. Hale finds it to be unfair, and feels that the other judges are being blinded by the ridiculous accusations being made by the girls. In the beginning of the trials Hale did what he can to get answers from people around the Salem Village, most answers pointing to Abigail Williams. He takes Abigail’s word, but when Hale took it upon himself to get to know the truth of the people who were being accused of demonic practices (ex: the Proctors), Hale’s true colors showed, and so did his intelligence.
At this time, Reverend Hale is now on the side of the innocent people being convicted of a crime that they did not commit. Reverend Hale is still with the court, but his motives have changed. Instead of seeking the person who is responsible for this so called witchcraft, he is seeking justice for the people of Salem, being tormented and having their name be brought to shame in the village. After months of being a part of the trials, Reverend Hale finally denounces the court and leaves his place on it. Thought he…