Reverend Hale's Duty in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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Reverend John Hale is one of the main characters in the play The Crucible written by Arthur Miller. The significant quote said by Hale towards Elizabeth Proctor to "not mistake your duty as I mistook my own" summarises Hale's changing sense of identity. Upon his arrival, Hale believes it is his duty to drive the devil out of Salem. However, as the play progresses, Hale's actions begin to conflict with Judge Danforth as Hale distances himself from the court. This transition is the result of Hale's revelation that he mistook his duty of protecting the lives of those falsely accused.

Throughout Act One, Hale indulges in the honour and pride that his position as a minister grants him. When Hale arrives in Salem, he immediately displays a strong faith in his books that are "weighted with authority" (Pg. 40). He is arrogant and is very confident in his own ability and studies, claiming that the engagements of the Devil are very distinct.

He holds the solid belief that it is his duty to drive the Devil out of Salem. "Hale: [with a tasty love of intellectual pursuit]:… Have no fear now - we shall find him out if he has come among us, and I mean to crush him utterly if he has shown his face!" (Pg. 42). The audience can see that Hale is the one who guides everyone else. He warns those at Parris' house that he "shall not proceed unless you are prepared to believe me" (Pg. 41). He forcefully states that he will discuss Martha Corey's strange behaviour with Giles Corey. Hale is very quick to trust Abigail's accusation of Tituba because he believes that children must be protected. This increases Hale's pride and he pressures Tituba into naming Sarah Good and Goody Osburn, beginning the...