Reverend Hale Character Analysis
Reverend Hale is divided between his faith and the belief in the individual. He is like a spiritual doctor” that has been summoned to eradicate witchcraft and other sins. Hale is expected to diagnose the issue, and after that, administer the requisite remedy by converting sinners or eliminating them from Salem’s society. He is devoted to his work due to the desire to assist the victims.
Nevertheless, he proves gullible. His strong desire to unmask witchcraft enables, people with bad intentions such as Abigail to exploit him. Upon his arrival in Salem, there is overwhelming evidence about witchcraft. Even though Hale is still determined to gain solid evidence before making a declaration that witchcraft indeed exists, he gets swept by the community’s expectations. As such, Hale accepts their testimonies at face value instead of carrying out his independent investigation.
Hale is not necessarily a villain in the play. He succumbs just the way Proctor did- via incorrect convictions and judgments. However, later on, Hale attempts to the right his wrongs. He is the only court official who challenges the court’s rulings. He is neither a rebel, nor does he intend to undermine the court’s authority. He strives for justice.
Upon realizing Abigail’s fraudulent behavior, Hale dedicates himself to cajoling other convicts to make confessions in order to escape hanging. In this situation, he uses lies in creating more lies. He fails to realize that by convincing the convicts to lie, would only enhance the court’s slanders.
The actions occurring in the play thoroughly put Hale’s understanding and faith to the test. He needs to acknowledge that the young girls have manipulated his strong-held beliefs, and he has also condemned innocent souls to death. This is a heavy burden for him to admit. Nevertheless, it changes him for the better.