The Crucible

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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The Crucible, which is written by Arthur Miller, is a tragic play that portrays the Salem Witch Trials. Salem Witch Trials is about several girls accusing people that they did not like of being a witch. They did this because their Minister found them dancing in the forest, where the Puritan believed is the Devils home, and singing. To get themselves out of trouble the accuse people of be witching them. The play consists of three main themes hypocrisy, guilt, and Integrity. There are many characters in the play that have those characteristics, but only one main character has all three.

That one characters is Reverend John Hale. Hale is a Minister who is called in to investigate the witch trials. In the play the reverend show that he, out of all people, is a hypocrite. He goes to the town to investigate the witch trial but all he really wants is to see if all his education and studies would revel the Devil in Salem.

Reverend Hale tries hard to revel the Devil that he forgets what his really there for. He believes the girls and doesn't question them about anything. All he wants is for the Devil to come out so he comes prove to himself that all his studies and education was right. He is being a hypocrite because in the beginning of the play someone tells him its witchcraft and he says not to immediately assume that but in his mind he thinks the Devil has something to do with it and he wants to prove it. He pretends that he is there to help the people but his not. Since the Reverend was cough up with all the lies he started to sign people's lives away. He did that because he wanted so bad to discover the Devil that he forgot want he was really there for.

Unfortunately, after so many were being hung he started to feel guilty. Hale hears the names of will know people with good reputation being accuse. That's when he starts feeling guilty. As he said in the play "I have this morning signed away the soul of Rebecca Nurse, Your Honor. I'll not conceal it, my hand shakes yet as with a wound!" The town's people respected Rebecca. When Hale signed her name away he felt guilty because not at all did he hear anything bad about her. His hand shakes like it has a wound on it while signing Rebecca's name because his guilty for doing it. He had no prove that she's a witch only the accusations of the girls. To him that's not hard prove that she's a witch so he realizes that he is guilt for signing her name. Since his guilt over came his motivation to stay in Salem to finish the witch trial he left.

However, his guilt also laid him to his integrity. He gains integrity when he went back to Salem to help the people that were in prison. Hale realizes that the really reason he was there was to help the people. He showed he had integrity when he told Danforth "There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head!!" He was able to say that it's his fault that these people were being hung. He doesn't say it was someone else that signed those dead warrants. Hale knows he did it and he is back to help the people out. Another way he showed his integrity was by telling Elizabeth "I would save your husband's life, for if he is taken I count myself his murderer." Hale does blame anyone for what he has done but himself. The Reverend puts himself on the line to help the people show that they are innocent. Reverend Hale's hypocrisy laid him to feeling guilty. His guilt laid him to his integrity.

Hale's character helps people realize that even though you are in a high place in society you will still have hypocrisy, guilt, and integrity in yourself. Hale's hypocrisy helped the girls to accuse more innocent people. Not until they mention someone that had a good reputation did Reverend Hale start to feel guilt of his own accusation. His guilt drove him out of Selma, but his integrity drove him back in. His integrity over took all other characteristic that he became a better character.