In The Crucible, to have power is to abuse it. The most powerful characters in political and financial terms are Deputy-Governor Danforth, Judge Hathorne, and Thomas Putnam. Abigail Williams and, for a time, Mary Warren, become powerful because their accusations are believed. These five characters all abuse their power, though Mary stops doing so in act III.
Another character who abuses his power and comes to regret it is the Reverend Hale. His power is based not on wealth or politics but on the combination of his position as a minister and his renown as an expert on witchcraft. When Parris remarks how heavy his books are, Hale replies pompously:
They must be; they are weighted with authority.
Hale talks about the need for "hard study" in outwitting the Devil and proclaims that:
The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone.
Yet his methods of examining Tituba and Abigail are both slapdash and credulous. He makes no attempt at academic precision or the examination of...
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