In Act one, Proctor expresses a sentiment to Reverend Hale soon after the cleric's arrival in Salem, which would set the foundation of their conflict later in the play:
I've heard you to be a sensible man, Mr. Hale. I hope you'll leave some of it in Salem.
When the reverend later shows up at their residence and declares that Rebecca Nurse is being suspected of witchcraft, Proctor states that, in terms of what he had said earlier, that the reverend cannot surely believe that she is guilty, (being a 'sensible man'). Hale's response confirms that he has been convinced by the preponderance of evidence that the Devil, was indeed, launching an attack on the village. He asks whether Proctor accedes to this fact.
Proctor expresses doubt about Rebecca's guilt whilst the reverend insists that the Devil is undeniably sly and states that Rebecca has not been accused yet. He states that the purpose of his visit is to question Proctor and Elizabeth's Christian character. This request would form the...
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