What are the Character Reverend Hale's motivations and conflicts throughout the play?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I see Hale as a genuinely good man that believes in the administering of justice as well as the true nature of the legal proceedings.  He is against the idea of innocent people being put to death, yet he cannot stop the wayward nature of the proceedings when things are so obviously spinning out of control.  Hale believes that through his own good nature, he can make right out of something that is inherently wrong.  He does not recognize or does not stand up to the corrupt nature of the trial and how individuals in Salem have manipulated the proceedings to advance their own agenda.  Rather, he is committed to trying to prove justice can be achieved.  The reality is that he ends up becoming an apologist for the inevitable evil that results from the trials.  In the end, it is this position that makes Hale a very frail and weakened character.

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