Our knowledge of the Salem community before the witch-hunt is important for the setting as we understand why people are being accused even though the reasons are no were near a valid enough reason to wish death upon a person. Martha Corey is an example as Walcott the person to accuse her wants vengeance for something that happened 5 years ago (page 59). He knew that Martha Corey wasn’t a witch but to get his own back for what happened beforehand. He accused her making it a repression through the witchcraft saga that was happening.
The characters involved with the climax at the end of the play have all been involved in conflict in previous stages of the play. Reverend Hale is in conflict with Danforth and Hale showing that he is the middleman as Danforth and Proctor are on opposite sides and Danforth sees him as threat so he wants his support so he doesn’t feel threatened and Proctor sees him as someone who can actually make a difference as he is a well-respected man not only with he community but also with the authority. When Hale arrives he is a completely different man to the one that is represented in the final stages of the play. This is shown as when he arrives there is no doubt in his mind that there is witchcraft, tracking down the old boy (page 30). He also seemed pleased to help with the Salem witch-hunt as he finally has the chance to show his skills.
Due to his reputation he believes that he is better than everyone else and in a way their saviour pray you someone take these (page 30) backs up the point. But as we move into Act 2 he seems to be more humble, asking questions of Proctor and Elizabeth and also being shocked at the scale of the crisis. Although this is the case he is still suspicious of the Proctors asking about the children being baptized (page 54) and asking John whether he knows the 10 commandments (page 55). Within two pages when Giles and Francis arrive telling them of how their much-respected wives have been arrested, Hale changes his tone and is quite different compared to when he arrived as he says there is a misty plot afoot (page 59) basically saying that it may not be witchcraft it may be a plot against selected people lead by the girls and especially Abigail Williams.
In Act 3 he puts full faith in Proctor which is completely different to what he was like in the Act beforehand when he was very suspicious of him. I say he has faith in Proctor as he asks Danforth for more time and to allow the argument Proctor, Giles and Francis are putting forward to be handled by a lawyer showing that he believes in what they are saying but to get the point across it should be handled by a lawyer. Also he shows he’s changed from the beginning of the play as he says Abigail is lying about the witchcraft (page 90) when in Act 2 he says the Devil is alive in Salem showing the sudden change of heart.
Then in Act 4 he is desperate for John to confess, as he believes he’s innocent, again showing a change of heart from Act 2 when he was very suspicious of him. This is a contradiction as he says the girls are lying and implies that its wrong (page 91) but if John confesses like he wants him to then he will also be lying. You can also see the change in his attitude when he says I denounce these proceedings! Showing that he is against the court due to them arresting Proctor. But at the start of the play Hale was a strong supporter of the court and says if Elizabeth is innocent then the court will say so as it’s just (page 63) this continues to show his change.
His speech on page 106 also shows the difference in him at the end of the play as he asks Elizabeth to get John to confess even though it’s a lie which he is totally against before like when the he says the girls are lying in Act 3. Also his confidence from the beginning of the plays seems to have been washed away as the play has went on as he says and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died showing that he no longer believed in himself as the situation has worsened since he has came to help. You also see a change in him as at the beginning he brought a scientific approach to Salem using his books as his knowledge they are weighted with authority (page 30) but his approach differs at the end as what he says in his speech is from the heart and no science or books are involved.
When Hale arrived in Act 1 he came across as a man of high religion and a man who demanded respect due to the confidence that came across in his speech tracking down the old boy (page 30). In Act 2 Hale seems arrogant about his faith despite the fact that he knows in his heart that Elizabeth being innocent saying that it’s down to the court to decide and will agree with the decision right or wrong.
Hale isn’t a likable man in Act 2, as he doesn’t stick up for the Proctor’s even though it’s an injustice that Elizabeth has been arrested. But as the play progresses he becomes more a likable man as he does stick up for the Proctor’s even as far as going against his faith to try to save John’s life. This is because he becomes more pragmatic in his faith as the play wears on as he learns of the injustices of the world and realises the importance of John’s life being saved. The reasons for Hales conflict with Proctor are shown in Act 2 when Hale will not say whether Elizabeth is innocent or not even though he knows that she is as he doesn’t want to go against the court.
There is also conflict with Proctor in Act 4 as Hale is trying to get Proctor to confess but Proctor is reluctant as he wants to keep his pride. The conflict he has with Danforth is because he has realised that the whole process is a lie and Danforth sees him as a threat to his authority as he is well-respected and if he sees it as a lie others will also consider it to so too. Even though it’s a lie, which Hale damns, he attempts to get Elizabeth to convince John to confess and therefore lie and that makes him a hypocrite.
But he says that lie would be ok as no one can no what Gods will is meaning that he believes the lie will be ok to tell as it’s a life which would be saved if it was told. Although Hale is seen as a smart man and one who many will listen too Elizabeth seems to be one that considers her own conscience this is shown when she says I think that be the devil’s argument (page 106) showing that she considers the morale side of what Hale is saying rather than just accepting what Hale says as being right.