Does Reverend Hale fit the definition of a tragic hero?

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I would argue that Reverend Hale represents a slight variant of the classic tragic hero in that it's his reputation that comes to grief, as opposed to himself personally. There can certainly be no doubting Hale's fundamental decency, another character trait traditionally associated with the tragic hero. Once he realizes that the witch-trials are based on nothing but lies, he tries his best to halt proceedings, thus hoping to save innocent people from the gallows. Although Hale, unlike John Proctor, doesn't suffer personally as a result of his actions, he does nonetheless experience considerable pangs of guilt and conscience at having initially doubted Proctor's probity.

One could argue that Hale maintains his integrity right throughout the play. By the end of The Crucible he may still believe in the existence of witches, but then just about everyone else did in the 17th...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 461 words.)

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