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How is Hale a broken man in The Crucible?

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awesomecreed96 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 29, 2013 at 12:07 AM via web

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How is Hale a broken man in The Crucible?

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greenlightshade | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 29, 2013 at 3:57 AM (Answer #1)

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Hale initially was called upon to investigate the Salem witch Trials, as an expert of witchcraft. He is a firm believer that those involved are not telling the truth and he will expose them. However, his character grows throughout the trials and he questions his own moral beliefs and principles. In Act 3, he joins those who opposed the witch trials and begins to oppose them himself, however, he is too late and the trials are now out of his hands and have been referred to Danforth. Danforth knows that credibility is on the line and therefore has no interest in ending the trials. Hale is unable to gain support to stop the trials, and he is unable to change Danforth's mind "I denounce these trials, I quit this court!". He has realised the corruption of the court and wants no association with it. This change of heart of Hale is what renders him a 'broken man'. He has 'lost' his very identity as a clergyman and expert of witchcraft and the values and principles he built his life on. His change of heart has come too late. 

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