Individual's Achievement's of self Knowledge. Refers to As Rev., character in Arthut Miller's "Crucible"

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 1996

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An important theme is an individual's achievement of self-knowledge as a result of

undergoing an ordeal. As Rev. Hale sits through the proceedings of the court in the play

The Crucible by Arthur Miller, his views change drastically.

When Rev. Hale first arrives in Salem, he is very objective about the whole

situation of witchery. He questions Tituba and Abigail about all the events that occurred in

the forest such as the girls' dancing and the frog in the kettle. He firmly believes that

witchery was involved in causing the unresponsive condition of Betty Parris. He coaxes

a confession from Tituba who names others supposedly involved in consorting with the

Devil. He strongly encourages the authority of the Church to seek out and convict any

unknown enemies of the Church. The Salem witchcraft trials began as a result. At first,

only the poor and lower classes were accused, but soon respectable members of the

community such as Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor were charged.

Hale's

personal feelings tell him that they are innocent, but his Puritan background prevents

him from questioning the authority of the court.

As the play progresses, Hale begins to alter his views about the trials. He suggests

that John Proctor should have a lawyer, but this request is denied by Danforth. He claims

that a lawyer is not necessary because only the demon and the witness are important.

Actually, he is conveying that the court alone will decide on the witness' probity based on

his own words. Hale realizes that John Proctor is an honest man when he would willingly

ruin his own reputation in the hopes of exposing Abigail as a whore. He absolutely cannot

believe that the court won't accept his testimony as the truth. Hale thinks that the children

are irresponsible fakers. He...