Essay about The Role of Reverend Hale as a Catalyst in The Crucible

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The Salem witch trials of 1692 was an event that shaped the history of this country, as well as the lives of those whose wives and husbands were condemned to death. In order for such an event to occur, there must be a set of people who catalyze the event, and others who speak out against it. In “The Crucible”, certain characters help contribute to the rising hysteria of witchcraft, and others contribute to the disapproval of so many wrongful convictions. Reverend Hale is a character who actually contributes to both sides. Reverend Hale is seen as a catalyst in the beginning of the play because he protects the authority of the court, along with its laws, he later realizes how false the accusations of the accused are; thus, making a …show more content…
When two Christian woman are accused of witchcraft, the husbands try to defend them. Hale tries to defend 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” (1213-1214)! Hale believes that he has more faith in the court than in his heart, because he is too prideful to show emotion towards those who are accused. Hale does whatever he can to fulfill his duty of annihilating the primary causes of witchcraft. By doing so, he fails to realize that the evil itself is not embedded in the hearts of the accused, but instead, it is embedded in the hearts of the accusers. Tituba, the black slave of Reverend Parris, accuses Sarah Good and Goody Osbourne of witchery after Hale questions her and forces her to tell of all whom she has seen working with the Devil: “…Tituba, you are chosen to help us cleanse our village. So speak utterly, Tituba, turn your back on him and face God -- face God, Tituba, and God will protect you” (1197). Hale helps to create more problems for Salem when he puts the slave under extreme pressure. Not to mention, he also threatened to whip her to death. All Hale seems to care about at this point is fulfilling his “duty” of keeping away the devil, thus proving to be an important catalyst in sparking the trials. As the court becomes more and more ridiculous, Hale begins to strongly disagree with