In The Crucible, Act 3, how has Hale changed since his arrival in Salem; why is he testing Proctor & Elizabeth; why hasn't Proctor been in church?

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smflannery eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning of the play, Hale felt there was a possibility of witchcraft in Salem.  It was upon further investigation that he found inconsistencies in the girls’ stories which made him believe their was a sinister side of those in Salem and it had nothing to do with the supernatural.  Elizabeth’s name was mentioned during questioning and that is why Hale goes to visit the couple.  He finds it very difficult to believe that someone like Elizabeth would be involved in witchcraft.  She is the ideal Puritan woman.  The reason why Proctor does not go to church is because he cannot stand to be in the same room with Reverend Parris.  Proctor is put to judgment because of his sins but Parris does not answer for his.  Proctor views this as hypocrisy in the religion and he would rather work his fields on Sunday versus being a part of the religion.  It was in Act III that Hale realizes that the good people of Salem have forgotten the promise they made to him when he arrived.  They promised that they would accept his findings even if they were not what they hoped they would be.  Chaos, jealousy, and greed have taken over Salem.

coolkiller | Student

Hale has changed allot since the begging of the play, In act 1 he came proud and he felt important that he has been summoned. Hale at the end of act 2 realises that he is no longer the authority of the witch trials and in act 3 when Proctor came armed with Marry Warren and claimed that the trials is all pretense Hale starts doubting the girls and begs Danforth to delay the proceedings, Danforth in the other hand refuses.

In act 2 we come to know that Elizabeth's name has been mentioned so hale comes to question Elizabeth.

Proctor hasn't been in church because he hates Reverend Paris and he hates the idea that Paris focuses on hell fire etc.


Best of luck i hope this helped, i am a student myself and i am studying this for my igcse