Why does Hale say he has come “to do the Devil’s work”? What motivates his actions?  

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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In the concluding act of The Crucible John Hale completes his transformation as a dynamic character.  In the beginning of the play, he comes (as he tells Elizabeth) "as a bridegroom to he beloved, bearing gifts of high religion."  However, over the course of the play, Hale has realized his mistakes; the girls are not being tormented by witches and the judges in the town are not the moral judges he believed he once thought they were.  He realizes that his "investigations" have lead to the deaths of so many good, honest people in the town.

When Parris and Danforth ask why has he returned to responds by saying that he "has come to do the devil's work. I come to counsel good Christians they should belie themselves." After all of his talk about honesty and Christian values, Hale realizes that he must persuade the members of Salem to lie.  By lying and confessing to witchcraft, they will not be executed.  The only way he can feel better is by saving as many of the charged citizens as he can.

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