The Crucible Questions and Answers
by Arthur Miller

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How could Reverend John Hale not be considered a dynamic character in The Crucible?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The case for Hale being a dynamic character rests in his expulsion from the hearings.  It is argued that after this, he operates not as an agent of the court of Danforth/ Hathorne, something that he sees as fundamentally misguided or simply wrong.  Rather, he seeks to counsel those who have been found guilty in order to placate his own misgivings about participating in such proceedings.  This is the basic element in pointing out how Hale represents a sense of the dynamic.  Yet, I would pivot in pointing out that this is precisely where he can be seen as a static character.  In the end, Hale still refuses to recognize a form of consciousness or being outside of established order.  Hale operates within this order and refuses to see any ambiguity outside of it.  Whether it is the legal/ social order of Salem in the start of the drama or the belief that life is the most important element ordained by the divine, it can be argued that Hale fails to become a dynamic character because he refuses to see the complexities or ambiguities that might exist in the strict belief of ordinance or the idea of a configuration.  Hale refuses to understand Proctor's motivation for sacrifice at the end.  He refuses to do so because in acknowledging this, he accepts that his world view is limited, the same reticence shown at the start of the drama.  In this, Hale can be seen as a non- dynamic character.

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