The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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Why does Hale denounce the proceedings? What should have been the effect of his denunciation? Why is it not?

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As an expert on witchcraft, Reverend Hale has come to know the difference between real cases and those that are based on lies. However, since his knowledge of the subject is largely derived from books, he doesn't understand straight away that Abigail and the other girls are engaged in a massive fraud on the people of Salem. In his careful, methodical way, he wants to make absolutely sure, one way or the other, just what the truth of the matter really is. Unlike most people in town, he's not about to jump to any conclusions.

However, once Hale has arrived at his considered opinion—that Abigail and the other girls are lying—he doesn't hesitate to spring into action and try to bring an immediate halt to the judicial proceedings. As the girls are lying, all their accusations are tainted. As such, no one can receive a fair trial. Hale still believes that genuine witches should be put to death, but he doesn't believe that anyone accused by Abbie and her crew are genuine witches. They're...

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