Why does Hale go to the Proctors' house?

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Reverend John Hale has been summoned to Salem to see if there is anything to the charges of witchcraft, and whether or not judges from Boston are needed to hold court.

He visits the Proctor household because Mrs. Proctor's name has been mentioned in court, and he seeks to ascertain if it is a truly Christian household, or whether or not the devil in his eyes had gained a foothold there.  He assesses their knowledge of the scriptures and the Commandments.  One of the more honest and conflicted characters in the play, Hale likes the Proctors and wants to believe in their innocence, but approaches the investigation as a sort of scriptural Sherlock Holmes to determine if there is just cause or not.