The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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In Act I of The Crucible, what question does Giles Corey ask Reverend Hale that shows his comical, innocent personality?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In act one, Giles Corey visits Reverend Parris's home, where he listens to Reverend Hale speak about the spirit world and the possibility of witches in Salem's community. Giles Corey proceeds to ask an innocent question to Reverend Hale about his wife reading "strange books." Giles Corey is suspicious about his wife reading and does not know if there can be any connection to witchcraft. Giles informs Reverend Hale that he cannot identify the books because his wife hides them but says that he feels discomfort when she reads at night. Giles even mentions that he attempted to pray at night and could not focus on his prayer until his wife stopped reading the mysterious book. Giles Corey is depicted as a relatively naive, elderly man, who is continually blamed for various issues in Salem and is constantly in court defending himself. Unfortunately, Giles's simple question regarding his wife reading "strange books" leads to her arrest and he deeply regrets even mentioning it.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Giles Corey only asks Rev. Hale one real question in Act I.  He asks it in a couple of different ways, but it is essentially the same question every time.  What Corey asks Hale is what it means that Corey's wife has been reading "strange books."  He says he has always wanted to ask a learned man that question.

I suppose it shows his innocence because he is not thinking about the fact that this is likely to get his wife in trouble.  I think it is comical because he is asking a learned man (one who must have read lots of books) why reading books makes a person do strange things.

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