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In "The Crucible", why does Reverend Hale change his story about...

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wade03 | Student, Grade 11

Posted November 9, 2008 at 11:36 AM via web

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In "The Crucible", why does Reverend Hale change his story about witchcraft?

This is from Act 3.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 10, 2008 at 2:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Reverend Hale changes his position on the witch trials because he is determined to save John Proctor from execution.  He becomes convinced that Abigail Williams is a liar in Act III, after she is asked to respond to the confession of John Proctor to lechery.

Proctor admits to a crime, lechery in the court, a serious crime, this gets Reverend Hale's attention, he considers what would cause a man to confess to such a crime in front of the high court.  It must be true, that is the only answer.

Abigail is defiant in her non-response to Danforth, refusing to reply to the question.  Hale proclaims that he believes Proctor.

"I believe him! Pointing at Abigail: This girl has always struck me as false" 

Hale becomes convinced that the court does not care about the truth, a man has just surrendered himself to the crime of lechery and they do not believe him, they would rather charge him with witchcraft. 

Reverend Hale can no longer be a part of this charade that ignores the truth and elevates a liar, Abigail Williams. 

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 9, 2008 at 12:21 PM (Answer #2)

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Hale has just witnessed the confession of Mary Warren that the girls are faking their symptoms of witchcraft and the aftermath of that confession. Abigail and the other girls turn against Mary and,to maintain Mary's credibility, John Proctor admits to his adultery with Abigail. Hale believes Proctor, but Danforth brings in Elizabeth Proctor to confirm the story. Danforth won't allow Elizabeth to look at John when he asks her about the alleged affair between Abigial and her husband. Since Elizabeth wants to protect her husband, she denies there was an affair, thus casting doubt on both John's allegations and Mary Warren's testimony. Danforth has Proctor lead to jail. This infuriates Rev. Hale, who has become fed up with the entire process. He sees Danforth as a man protecting the court and his own reputation rather than seeking the truth about possible witches in Salem. So, Hale leaves the court after he criticizes the methods the court has used in coming to its conclusions.

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