In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, Reverend John Hale’s character is a perfect example of how a strong-minded individual and well-respected person can be transformed emotionally throughout times of betrayal and lies. Out of all of the characters in this play, Reverend John Hale undergoes the most dramatic change as he shifts from confident accuser, to uncertain sympathizer, to defender of the doomed. Reverend Hale enters the town of Salem, a confident, educated man of the system. He is described as a “tight-skinned, eager-eyed intellectual” . “This is a beloved errand for him; on being called here to ascertain witchcraft he felt pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for” . Hale is very confident there is evil present. His intelligence on the matter of evil is why he is originally called upon to investigate and he takes this very seriously. “I cannot tell if she is truly in the Devils grip we may have to rip and tear to get her free” .
This statement further proves his initial belief in witchcraft. When he starts to interrogate Tituba about what happens with the girls in the forest a fury is released, and the accusations begin to dominate the room. Hale’s arrival played a vast role in the hysteria that begins to plague the town. As he proceeds with his business in Salem, the townsfolk gain a sense of stability knowing his reputation for being a man of God and his self-assuring sense of expertise on the subject of evil. In Act II we begin to see his confidence fading. “He is different now- drawn a little, and there is a quality of deference, even of guilt, about his manner now”. Hale visits the Proctor home to try and discover something that could sway his mind, something to ease the guilt he is beginning to feel. “I come of my own, without the courts authority” .