Reverend Hale is showing some signs of stress during the second act. Explain the ways that Hale has changed from the first act to the second, and how he has been affected both physically and mentally by what he’s witnessed in Salem. Use examples from the text to support your answer. 

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Here I will provide you with textual evidence from both Acts and analysis of each piece of evidence. Then, it will be up to you to compare the evidence from the two Acts and draw your conclusions about how and why Hale has been affected: 

Act One:

  • "No, no. There...

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Here I will provide you with textual evidence from both Acts and analysis of each piece of evidence. Then, it will be up to you to compare the evidence from the two Acts and draw your conclusions about how and why Hale has been affected: 

Act One:

  • "No, no. There be no unnatural cause here. Tell him that I have sent for Mr. Hale of Beverly, and Mr. Hale will surely confirm that" (9)
    Even before he enters the scene, Mr. Hale's characterization begins. His reputation for a professional and expert lend a degree of gravity to his character: he is someone to be trusted based on his experience with the unnatural. 

  • "Coming into Salem now, Reverend Hale conceives of himself much as a young doctor on his first call. His painfully acquired armory of symptoms, catchwords, and diagnostic procedures are now to be put to use at last. The road from Beverly is unusually busy this morning, and he has passed a hundred rumors that make him smile at the ignorance of the yeomanry in this most precise science. He feels himself allied with the best minds of Europe - kings, philosophers, scientists, and ecclesiasts of all churches. His goal is light, goodness and its preservation, and he knows the exaltation of the blessed whose intelligence, sharpened by minute examinations of enormous tracts, is finally called upon to face what may be a bloody fight with the Fiend himself" (36)
    Hale firmly believes that what he is doing is invariably good, right, moral, and interestingly, scientific. He does not question whether or not witchcraft might exist, or even if accusations of witchcraft might be used for nefarious ends. He is a healer and a scientist. 

  • "No, no. Now let me instruct you. We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone, and I must tell you all that I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of hell upon her" (38) 
    A continuation of the above characterization

  • "When the Devil comes to you does he ever come - with another person? She stares up into his face, Perhaps another person in the village? Someone you know" (45)
    Hale's innocence and naïvité, his belief that witchcraft is a rational thing, does not intend to lead Tituba into falsely accusing others. He, perhaps unconsciously, perhaps not, guides Tituba into spreading the blame. 

Act Two:

  • It is Mr. Hale. He is different now - drawn a little, and there is a quality of deference, even of guilt, about his manner now. 
    As these stage directions note, Hale is physically differentiated from the introduction of the play now that the trials are fully underway. 

  • "This is a strange time, Mister. No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack upon this village. There is too much evidence now to deny it. You will agree, sir?" (64) 
    Although Hale may not be the same as he was at the beginning of the play, he has not renounced his beliefs, either. 

  • Hale, glances at her open face, then at John, then: Let you re-peat them, if you will.
    Proctor: The Commandments.
    Hale: Aye. (66)
    Hale is continuing to use his scientific methods to determine, through what he believes is firm evidence, whether or not a person is taken by the devil. He does not merely accept accusations and insinuations but tests them. 

Best of luck in your comparison!

 

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