Everyday people all over the world undergo change. In Arthur Miller’s classic American drama, The Crucible, Reverend Hale of Beverly arrives in Salem in 1692 at the onset of the infamous witch trials in an effort to root Lucifer out of The New Land forever. Throughout the course of the play, Reverend Hale goes from a strict, religious figure devout to the destruction of evil, to somewhat doubting the accusers to quitting the church and asking innocent people to lie for the efforts to save their lives.
Reverend Hale begins his dynamic journey as a god-loving, devout individual, but with the problems of witchcraft in Salem, he begins to have doubt in the accusers by the ending of the second act. While Reverend Hale is talking to John and Elizabeth Proctor, he states, “Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven,” but a moment later Hale begins to realize that the situation at hand is coming to be out of proportion, as the deputies take Elizabeth Proctor away and Rebecca Nurse is charged with the murder of the Putman children (1244).
As the trials begin at the beginning of the third act, Hale takes the time from the court room to collect his thoughts and actually begin to realize that the girls are just making up a lie. When Deputy Danforth questions Proctor about his wrong doings, Hale gets into the conversation and declares, “I cannot think you may judge the man on such evidence?” At this point in the drama, the audience begins to realize that Hale is taking John Proctor’s side, for the outbreak of lies has become unbearable. At the very end of the third act, Hale decides to quit the court. The overall out come of John Proctor being sent to jail for being “dishonest” in the court, throws Reverend Hale on edge. And finally Hale proclaims, “I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court” (1262)
As the play draws to a closing, Reverend Hale is now begging for people to lie, for they will hang if they choose not to confess. He feels that their deaths will be on his shoulders, due to his signing on their death warrants. When John Proctor agrees to confess and have his life, Reverend Hale tells the judges, “It is enough he confesses it?” for they are questioning Proctor if he has seen anyone with the Devil for he can save others (1271). Hale apprehends that if they question him too far, he may contradict his confession. Unfortunately, it happens and John Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey are sent to hang.
Reverent John Hale overall is the most dynamic character in the play. Reverend Hale is portrayed as an honest man who truly strives to do the right thing. Whether forming his own opinion, quitting the trials in disgust, or praying with those about to hang, Hale proves that all men are capable of reason and making up his own mind. He is not meant to be an opposing force, he merely strives for truth.