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Which character in the play is compared to Pontius Pilate?

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penny28 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 10, 2012 at 12:19 AM via iOS

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Which character in the play is compared to Pontius Pilate?

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM (Answer #1)

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The character that is compared to Pilate is the Reverend Hale, by John Proctor. This occurs near the end of the second act, when Elizabeth Proctor is arrested. This comparison is extremely significant. Pilate was the Roman governor who allowed Jesus to be crucificied despite finding no fault with him personally; he is depicted in the Bible as having done this reluctantly, and as a result of public pressure rather than in the interests of justice. Similarly, Proctor sees Hale, a man of some authority as a minister, caving in to popular hysteria in allowing Elizabeth to be handed over to the courts, rather than intervening to try and save her, just as Pilate, who had the authority to release Jesus, simply allowed him to be handed over for crucifixion.

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