The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

The Crucible book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Does Reverend Hale fit the definition of a tragic hero?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,376 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

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.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


climbergirl345 | Student

I don't think so.  He isn't the protaganist, but he does fit some of the characteristics.