How do Hale’s emotions and feelings develop from act 1 to the end?

Topics: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Emotion Pages: 8 (3181 words) Published: October 19, 2014
How do Hale’s emotions and feelings develop from act 1 to the end?

Throughout the course of the play, the feelings and the firm beliefs about the suspicion of witchcraft in Salem which we see with the Reverend Hale in Act 1 begin to disintegrate as the play develops through to Act 2 where he meets with the Proctors and then further to the storming out of his own court at the end of Act 3. Through stage directions we can acquire a further insight into Hale’s feelings and emotions at key moments as they tell us certain gestures which he makes which we can then connote to feelings such as confusion or realization such as when Proctor opens his eyes in their encounter in Act 2 about the cause of the confessions of the Witches.

When we first meet the Reverend Hale we can tell that he is a man who takes his work of studying witchcraft extensively very seriously. In his entrance in Act 1 he tells us about the marks of the Devil and how the, “Devil is precise; the marks of his presence are as definite as stone [...] I shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me if I should find no bruise of hell upon her.” From this initial speech about the marks of the Devil we can get the interpretation that the Reverend Hale treats his work seriously, and through telling them to, “believe,” him, we see that Hale is a man who wants do conduct honest and, “precise,” work. We also get the impression that he finds his work not a chore but more as an art as he describes his book to have, “all familiar spirits, your incubi and succubi; your witches [...] your wizards of the night and of the day.” By using technical terms such as the naming of the various examples of the invisible world, “incubi and succubi,” suggests to both the reader and the characters in the play that he is the man for the task and the man who will get to the source of the witchcraft in Salem. It also tells the characters that he has a very good understanding about the different forms of the invisible world, which shows he has had much time studying these things, like a scholar, which further proves that he takes his work very seriously and wants to do an honest and precise work, and in this case, an honest and precise work of the trials in Salem with an initial positive attitude to the suspicion of witchcraft.

Hale’s beliefs about the importance of these trials increase when he questions Tituba about if she conjured any spirits. In their questioning at the end of Act 1 he almost places what he wants to hear into her mouth. When he tells her that she, “have confessed herself to witchcraft [...] and we will bless you,” Tituba accepts and asks for, “God bless,” Hale. Hale uses a technique by placing certain phrases in order to get an answer he wants, which in this case he tells her without previous confirmation that she has confessed herself to witchcraft and she accepts the fact as he also includes heaven and tells her that she is, “on heaven’s side now,” to signal to her that she has some importance to them to make her feel more likely to tell him the things he wants to hear. The fact that Hale can get a confirmation of witchcraft through his rather deluding questions, only further strengthens his belief of their being witches in Salem and the need for these trials.

In act 2 when Hale questions the Proctor’s, we see him enter their house with firm belief in the trials, however during his course of his stay at the Proctor’s, his views and beliefs of the trials begin to fade yet he still tries to hang on to the belief that there is still witchcraft in Salem. His attitudes begin to slowly change when he sees that so many names are being brought up in the court, and he is now going from house to house to meet the people whose names have been brought up in court to see of their Christian lifestyle and whether they should be tried or killed.

Proctor shows Hale a new light about the reasoning for the many confessions to Witchcraft. When Hale reiterates that fact...
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