Reverend John Hale, a minister from Beverly, is sent to Salem, where the fear of witchcraft is spreading.
When he reaches, the town it is already in total anarchy. In the beginning of the book, John Hale is a strong-minded character who is well-respected. He has a conviction that witches exist and that the devil is loose and alive in Salem.
But towards the end of the book, he isn’t afraid to speak up against the court. He is eventually transformed emotionally, especially throughout times of lies and betrayal within the court. Being the voice of reason, he was aware that the accusations of witchcraft were blasphemous and contentious.. Out of all of the characters in this play, Reverend John Hale undergoes the most dramatic change. He transformed himself from the formidable accuser of death to the very defender of life. In the novel The Crucible, Arthur Miller uses John Hale’s character to show the importance of integrity and standing up to the corruption of justice.Integrity is associated with honesty and implies truly doing the right thing despite the consequences.
In court, to defend Giles Corey, Reverend Hale said “I am a minister of the Lord & I do not take a life without there be proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.”(Miller 99). Hale had signed seventy two death warrants but wasn’t afraid to take a stand against Reverend Danforth in court for proving the innocence of Giles Corey. Hale was willing to go against everything he believed in, just so a man he barely knew, wasn’t falsely persecuted.
This defiance on Reverend Hale’s behalf could have easily resulted in his own death, yet he displayed prodigious strength of character. Another instance where Hale truly did the right thing without quail was, when he supported John Proctor by saying “I believe him! This girl has always struck me false!”. (114).
Hale had no reason to side with Proctor in this situation. He stood by his good morals and stayed true to his integrity even during this calamity. Corruption of justice happens when a court is guilty of dishonest principles. John Hale came across others getting unfairly accused and charged with witchcraft.”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!”(71).
Reverend Hale finds it disturbing that society is willing to blindly believe the accuser, while the victims are being forced, to admitting to their crimes. Failure to do so would result in death by hanging of the accused. ” We cannot blink it more. There is a prodigious fear of this court in the country.” (Miller 98).