Reverend Hale’s Catharsis in the Crucible
“The sun will rise?” (pg 233). The rising of the sun is symbolic for a clean slate or enlightenment. This statement foretells of the knowledge and improvement Reverend Hale goes through throughout the course of the play. Illustrated at first as a strong intelligence, one can see that he undergoes a catharsis due to his caring and humane nature seen towards completion of the play. When Reverend Hale is first presented to the play, he is depicted as an experienced and educated character with a strong sense of will and arrogance due to his smarts.
This conceit not only makes him really boastful, it likewise causes him to have no empathy or persistence for others. This pompous mindset is clearly seen when he speaks of the weight of his books stating, “They should be; they are weighted with authority” (pg. 184). Not only is he boasting about the weight of his books, showing that he is extremely intellectual, he uses the word “authority” to further suggest and boast about his smarts. Hale’s superciliousness is also plainly seen when he broaches himself stating, “I am John Hale, minister of Beverly? (pg 186) and “I am a minister of the Lord, and I dare not take a life without there be a proof? (pg 215). In both these quotes, Hale mentions himself in a really extremely way, as if he is indicating that he is much better than everyone else. Also, in both quotes he refers himself as a church member. Members of the church are expected to be the most patient and the most kindly of all people which is why he is very egotistical. In addition, Hale likewise has an absence of empathy and patience for other people. For example, Hale’s lack of selflessness and absence of commiseration is seen when he challenges Tituba in Act I where he mentions, “Why are you concealing? Have you offered yourself to Lucifer?” (pg. 187).
This accusation he troubles Tituba is not just an example of a lack of tolerance, it is an insult. Hale’s insult surfaces here due to his lack of compassion and sympathy for others-he doesn’t care if he injures somebody by insulting them simply as long as he seems intellectual and strong-willed. Reverend Hale’s absence of compassion for others is also seen during the interrogations which took place in Act III, where he says, “This woman has actually always struck me as false!” (pg 223) and “You can not believe them!” (pg 225). Here, Hale questions the integrity of Abigail and the girls pointed out, suggesting that they lied.
Again Hale attacks individuals he speaks to due to his absence of benevolence. However, in spite of his ruthless habits in the start of the play, Hale goes through a catharsis and ends up being an extremely caring and good-hearted person. For instance, this catharsis is clearly revealed when he states, “Excellency, it suffices he confess himself” (pg 239). Hale’s newly found sympathy is clearly seen in this declaration because he is pleading for compassion for another. Hale’s kindheartedness is also seen when he asks the females to admit to save their lives, “Life, lady, life is God’s the majority of precious present? (pg 234). This statement is the embodiment of Hale’s catharsis due to the fact that he conquers his pompousness and will turn to asking and due to the fact that it reveals that he does appreciate other individuals, which is seen since he wants the prisoners to live. In conclusion, Reverend Hale goes through numerous changes in the course of the play. Hale’s change in character from a person who was portrayed as a hoity-toity intellect who does not have empathy and amiability to a person with empathy and benevolence really exhibits the catharsis he undergoes.