What are some quotes that show Reverend Hale's change in character in The Crucible?

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When Hale first arrives in Salem, he is full of confidence in himself, in his experience, and in his abilities. Hale has been called in as a witchcraft expert of sorts, and he approaches his task with passion, logic, and learning. He truly believes that Satan is real and witchcraft...

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When Hale first arrives in Salem, he is full of confidence in himself, in his experience, and in his abilities. Hale has been called in as a witchcraft expert of sorts, and he approaches his task with passion, logic, and learning. He truly believes that Satan is real and witchcraft can be identified in the same way that a doctor would diagnose an illness and provide a cure. Hale even shows up with books to help him identify the extent of the witchcraft in Salem.

Hale, setting down his books: They must be; they are weighted with authority.

Parris, a little scared: Well, you do come prepared!

Hale: We shall need hard study if it comes to tracking down the Old Boy.

Hale further stresses his scientific approach with the following quote.

We cannot look to superstition in this. The Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are definite as stone.

As Hale continues his investigation, he becomes less and less confident in whether or not Satan is at work. He begins to see the possibility of hysteria influencing the proceedings, and Hale eventually gets to a point where he genuinely believes that he, the court, and the town have been duped and have been sentencing entirely innocent people to die.

Hale eventually becomes so confident the court proceedings are in error that he denounces the entire proceedings and quits the court.

I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court!

Hale will finally return in the final act, and he is a completely changed person. He is a broken man that now realizes that he contributed to the hysteria that resulted in so many deaths, and he openly admits it.

Why, it is all simple. I come to do the Devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves. His sarcasm collapses. There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head!!

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At the beginning of the play, Reverend Hale firmly believes in his knowledge of the dark arts, Satan, and witchcraft. He is excited at the opportunity of discovering a witch in Salem and genuinely believes that he can help the community. He expresses his confidence by telling John Proctor,

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. (Miller, 36)

Reverend Hale is naïve and does not understand the influence of mass hysteria on a community.

In act two, Reverend Hale visits Proctor's home to do some investigating on his own. He still supports the corrupt court but is beginning to have some suspicions. After quizzing John's knowledge of the Ten Commandments, Hale is still reluctant to completely dismiss the presence of witchcraft and tells John,

Theology, sir, is a fortress; no crack in a fortress may be accounted small. (Miller, 67)

In act three, John Proctor challenges the corrupt court and forces Mary Warren to testify that she was lying during the proceedings along with Abigail and the others. John then confesses to having an affair with Abigail, and Elizabeth lies on her husband's behalf without knowing that he sacrificed his reputation. After Danforth has Elizabeth removed from court, Reverend Hale says,

Excellency, it is a natural lie to tell; I beg you, stop now before another is condemned! I may shut my conscience to it no more—private vengeance is working through this testimony! From the beginning, this man has struck me true. (Miller, 114)

John Proctor is then arrested, and Reverend Hale denounces the proceedings and quits the corrupt court. Overall, Reverend Hale transforms from a confident supporter of Salem's court to a firm, outspoken opponent of the witch trials.

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Mr. Hale is invited to Salem as an expert on witchcraft and Miller says in act one that “he feels himself allied with the best minds of Europe—kings, philosophers, scientists, and ecclesiasts of all churches.” This is a somewhat unorthodox attitude for a New England Puritan, but it shows Hale’s confidence. When Parris remarks how heavy his books are, Hale replies rather priggishly: “They must be; they are weighted with authority.”

In act two, Hale seems much more hesitant. He comes to the Proctor House to satisfy himself as to Elizabeth’s innocence or guilt but responds indecisively to her arrest, telling John: “God help me, I cannot judge her guilty or innocent—I know not.” When John calls him a coward, he does not object. This is in sharp contrast to his attitude to Tituba and Betty in the first act.

By the end of the play, Hale no longer has any confidence in his vocation. He says that if John Proctor is killed, he will count himself the murderer and says with heavy sarcasm: “I come to do the Devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves.” Hale thus progresses from confident authority to doubt to a conviction of his own guilt and implication in an iniquitous process over the course of the play.

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Reverend Hale moves from a confidence in his goals and methods to disillusion with the courts and even guilt over his own complicity.

Arriving in Salem is the scholarly cleric that Miller describes as an "eager-eyed intellectual . . . loaded down with half a dozen heavy books." As a witchcraft specialist, he was proud that his "unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for." When he zealously dives into the investigation, he asks leading questions and seems determined to find witches. He asks Tituba to implicate others:

When the Devil comes to you does he ever come with another person?

Hale has at least heard of some townspeople, such as Rebecca Nurse and her "good works." More than the sheer number of accused and the fever pitch of the indictments, it is the identity of specific accused persons, especially Rebecca, that starts his reconsidering.

When Hale realizes that for Judge Danforth, guilty is a predetermined verdict and he doesn't listen to testimony, his real crisis of faith begins. And when he sees that the girls are manipulating the confessions to protect themselves, he speaks out for John Proctor:

Private vengeance is working through this testimony! From the beginning this man has struck me true. By my oath to Heaven, I believe him now . . . .

By then it is too late. Hale tries to backpedal to save himself and his own reputation, but both are gone.

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