In The Crucible, how is Reverend Hale's character development significant to the play?

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Reverend Hale is one of the few characters who transforms throughout the play.

He starts as a firm believer in witchcraft, and by the end of Act III he has completely recanted his position and even tries to save the holdouts from execution. He represents the ability to look past bandwagon beliefs and form personal conclusions based on knowledge and observation rather than blind bigotry.

In an appeal to the immovable Danforth, Hale pleads,

"Excellency, it is a natural lie to tell; I beg you, stop now before another is condemned! l may shut my conscience to it no more - private vengeance is working through this testimony! From the beginning this man has struck me true. By my oath to Heaven, I believe him now."

While Hale can be credited for no longer turning a blind eye, his earlier convictions proved deadly for many a character, which shows the dangers of accepting the world around you before making investigations.

This can be related back to the real world with Miller's motivation for writing The Crucible: McCarthyism. Most people, even people who were powerful and would have been able to deter Senator McCarthy's agenda, did not speak out against him until the evidence of his fraud became too large to ignore. For many innocent citizens, it was too late as the modern "witch hunts" destroyed many a family and career.

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