Reverend Hale of Beverly in the First 2 Acts (the Crucible)

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Discuss Millers presentation of Hale in Acts 1 and 2, focusing in particular on how his attitude towards the events in Salem changes. In Acts 1 and 2 Arthur Miller presents Reverend Hale as a book-smart, respectable but also dynamic figure. As we move through Act 1 and 2 we see his thoughts and views change. When he first arrives Hale appears to be an intelligent, open- minded man but one who knows little of the situation in Salem and thinks nothing but good can come from him being there. This then moves to him coming to a swift and perhaps hasty conclusion without taking in all the evidence at the end of Act 1. Then through Act 2 we see Hales doubts grow as he realises he may be guilty of making rushed and thus poor decisions and the court’s accusations may be unjust. Not long after he first arrives in Salem, Reverend Hale’s words tell the audience a bit about his character and mentality. When Hale says ‘I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of hell upon her’ he is shown to be self-confident and unbiased. Despite all the opinions and views that are being aired, Hale is not swayed and announces that he will be the judge of whether there is witchcraft in Salem or not. By saying this in the way he does, Hale also establishes respect and a kind of control over the others and the situation. As Hale continues his questioning of Parris, the Putnam’s and Abigail we first start to see his attitude to witchcraft in Salem changing. He starts off with fairly obvious, open questions such as: ‘Now, sir, what were your first warning of this strangeness.’ These questions are easily answered and are asked in order to gain a bit of background information. Hales deliberate avoidance of using the word witchcraft shows that he is not yet even admitting that there is any; he believes there could still be a different explanation to the

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