How does reverand hale change throughout the play The Crucible?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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In Act I of The Crucible, Reverend John Hale of Beverly arrives in Salem.  With suspicion of witchcraft, Reverend Parris calls Hale to town as an expert. Hale has studied witchcraft and arrives armed with his books ready to save the girls from any danger.  After he examines Betty and Tituaba confesses, he is convinced the girls are being afflicted by witches, and it's up to him to save them.

In Act II Hale visits the Proctor home "in order to test the Christian character of the house." As part of his job, he is going around town meeting with people who have been brought up in the courts.  At this point Hale still believes that there are witches in Salem and it is up to him to save them.

By Act III, Hale begins to suspect the courts are not as fair as he thought.  When Proctor comes to court with Mary Warren's deposition Hale begs the courts to send him home for a lawyer, but the courts do not want to listen to Proctor and are not willing to wait for a lawyer to present the case. At the end of the Act, Hale leaves shouting that he "quits this court!" He realizes that the courts are not listening to both sides of the argument.

When the play ends in Act IV, Hale returns to Salem; however, this time he is a different person. He comes out of guilt hoping that he can convince some of the accused to confess. He now knows that they're not guilty, but he wants them to confess so that they may live.  He knows it is his fault that the courts have taken things to this point, and he wants to try to save as many as he can.

Because of his transformation, Hale is referred to as a dynamic character- or a charter who goes through a dramatic inner change in a work.

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