What does Reverend Hale think about John Proctor?

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Reverend Hale is initially wary of John Proctor and questions his unorthodox disposition towards Salem's authority figures. Since Reverend Hale initially supports Salem's court, he does not fully trust John Proctor, who is openly opposed to the witch trials. Despite John Proctor's good reputation throughout Salem's community, Hale is concerned...

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Reverend Hale is initially wary of John Proctor and questions his unorthodox disposition towards Salem's authority figures. Since Reverend Hale initially supports Salem's court, he does not fully trust John Proctor, who is openly opposed to the witch trials. Despite John Proctor's good reputation throughout Salem's community, Hale is concerned about his church attendance and is suspicious of Proctor's Biblical knowledge when he questions him in act two. As the play progresses, Hale begins to question the court's intentions and is astonished when Elizabeth, Martha Corey, and Rebecca Nurse are arrested. In act three, Hale witnesses Deputy Governor Danforth's callous, authoritarian nature firsthand and changes his perception of John Proctor. Hale realizes that the court officials are only concerned with implementing their agenda and are willing to arrest anyone who challenges their authority. At the end of act three and throughout act four, Reverend Hale completely supports John Proctor and believes that Salem's court is corrupt. Hale is ashamed of himself for once supporting the corrupt court and begs John Proctor to save his life instead of dying as a martyr.
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When Reverend Hale first meets John Proctor, he is suspicious of John because he, too, is caught up in the fervor of the accusations circulating throughout Salem.  Although Hale is the area’s authority on everything “devilish”, he is also intelligent enough to understand human motivation.  As he gets to know John, he realizes that John is a good man with some flaws.  This change in opinion starts when Hale questions John and asks him to recite the 10 Commandments.  Unfortunately, John forgets the one he is guilty of—Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery—during the interview.  Shortly after that, Elizabeth is arrested, and Hale sees John for who he really is, an honest, hard-working man who loves his wife. 

Throughout the rest of the play, Hale advises John encouraging him at the end to save himself by lying to the court about being a witch.  John refuses, and Hale begs for mercy with the judges.  John, however, will not stain his name with a lie and is hanged. Hale is saddened by the tragic end of John Proctor and the others as we see the witch trials come to an end due to Hale and the public’s sentiment against the hangings.

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