Analysis Of The Crucible Essay, Research Paper
One of the greatest aspects of Arthur Millers “The Crucible” was his ability to make a complete transformation of the characters from beginning to end. From the beginning of the play we were told of Reverend John Hales experience in witchcraft and his strong confidence in oneself. As the play goes on, we the readers witness a complete alteration of character. The power in which he possesses begins to blind his judgement, goodness, and sensibility, and thereby causes the death of many innocent people.
John Hale arrived in the town of Salem as the voice of authority regarding witches. When first reading about Hale, he gave the impression of being very wise and confident in the area of witches. “The books I carry are weighed with authority” He’s a strong believer of the church and their desire to destroy all evil that appears to be reeking havoc upon Salem. Right from the beginning of the play he faces many difficult situations. He was the witness of Elizabeth Proctor’s arrest. He also knew that she was innocent, but was afraid to do anything about it because he was always taught to respect the authority of those above him.
By the third act John Hales attitude slowly began to change. He had once been certain of his views, and confident in the ways of the court, but he then started to doubt the court, and even attempted to change some of its demands. “Excellency, it is a natural lie to tell: I beg I 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 and I pray you call back his wife before we-” This quote shows his confusion and his will to do what’s just. By the close of act three Hales attitude has gone from self-assurance, to great turmoil. He found that the children were just lying fanatics. This saddens him and makes him feel that he has indirectly killed the innocent people of Salem. He left hoping his departure would only make things better for everyone.
Hale returned to Salem to try and fix his mistakes. He urged the accused to confess so they would have a better chance of survival. He pleaded to Elizabeth, “Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into the village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion: the very crowns of Holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died .” This speech shows the fear and forgiveness he wanted expressed. He knew he made a lot of bad decisions and came back to try and fix his wrongdoing. Unfortunately, he was too late and the lives he came to save were already gone.
Reverend John Hale’s job in Salem was one that no person should ever have to do. He was faced with many tough decisions, ones in which he unknowingly made the wrong choice, and when he tried to fix his mistakes, only made them worse. Hale was, for the most part, a good mad who at times was too confident in his abilities, and instead of ridding the town of witches, he came across as being selfish and power hungry.