How does Reverend Hale represent integrity in The Crucible by Arthur Miller?

Expert Answers
Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reverend Hale is the first official clergy from outside of Salem who is called in to investigate the supposed compacts with the devil. He bases his authority, not on his own thoughts, but on a number of texts by sanctioned authorities. He presents an unbiased opinion of his findings, with understanding of the possibility of misleading evidence. When the Salem judges take over the investigation, he begins to see that these judges are not unbiased but assume guilt of all those brought before the bar. Reverend Hale then switches sides, though all the while supporting what he believes is the truth, and begins to disagree with the judges’ findings. He encourages John Proctor to sign the confession simply to avoid death and giving in to the judges’ assumption of guilt. Presumably, he regrets not stopping the trials before this happened and is at a loss of how he can save anyone now. This shows his integrity, his dedication to the truth rather than hysteria. His trust is in the truth rather than the opinions of people, no matter how socially prominent.