The Crucible The Salem witch trials of 1692 caused much confusion and chaos. A total of 19 were executed for supposed witchcraft. For such a parody to occur and to end, there must be certain people that catalyze the event and others that speak out against it. In "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, specific characters contribute to the rising hysteria of witchcraft and the disapproval of the convictions. Reverend Hale is a unique character that provides attributions to both sides.Although Reverend Hale is a catalyst to the beginning of the witch trials because he protects the authority of the court with a strict interpretation of its laws, he later realizes the falsehood of the court's accusations, and he makes a dramatic shift in his dependency on the law and in his beliefs of witchcraft. For the first half of the play, Hale strictly follows the law to maintain order, and as a result contributes to the beginning of the witch trials.
For example, in his first scene of the play he enters Parris' house to help his niece, who is believed to have a spell cast upon her, and is carrying a heavy load of books that are "…are weighted with authority'" (pg.184). He prepares himself to ignore any conclusions based from emotional involvement or sensibility by keeping at hand lawful books to guide him.
He trusts his books to keep control over the arising dilemma. In addition, when two church-going women, Martha Corey and Rebecca Nurse, are accused of witchcraft, the women's husbands begin to argue the case, but Hale still defends the court: "I have seen too many frightful proofs in court — the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!"(pg.201). Although it is ludicrous that two of the most law-abiding citizens of the town are accused of witchery, Hale displays that he contains more faith in the court than in his heart because he shows no mercy or emotion towards the accused.
In these early scenes of the play, Hale does what he can to fulfill his obligation of eradicating the causes of the witchery, and does not see that the evil is not in the accused but in the accuser. Also, Tituba, Parris' black slave, accuses Sarah Good and Goody Osbourne of witchcraft after Hale interrogates her and forces her to tell him who she has seen under the Devil's influence: "…Tituba, you are chosen to help cleanse our village. So speak utterly, Tituba, turn your back on him the Devil and face God.
.."(pg.188). Hale initiates the hysteria of accusations in Salem with the pressure he puts on Tituba to give him names (he had also threatened to whip her to death).
His only objective and care at this point is not to root out the causes of Betty's illness, but to make seemingly impressive accusations and "fulfill" his duty of keeping away the Devil. Through these actions, Hale proves to be an important catalyst in sparking the trials. As the irrationality of the court rises, Hale begins to oppose the actions it takes.
For example, Hale pleads with Danforthe, the judge, to let Proctor return to court later with a lawyer while he is being interrogated, and which Danforthe rejects the idea. Danforthe possesses the ultimate power of the court and the use of its laws; however, Hale for the first time fought against its powers. He realizes the unfair judgment the court is presenting and begins his objection to it. In addition,.