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.