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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes
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Reverend Hale comes in to add his plea to Parris'. The prisoners
will not confess; he must have more time. Danforth explains
why he won't postpone. Things are uncertain enough; if the
court falters the least bit now, there is real danger of losing
control of the situation. But a confession will secure the courts
position. He sends for Elizabeth Proctor. Maybe she can
persuade her husband to confess.

Once again, notice how Hale has changed. In Act III he was
near the edge, but up until the very end he hung onto the belief
that he was doing the right thing by helping the court. But when
Proctor was condemned, it was the last straw.

Now Hale has returned, but for what purpose?

Why, it is all simple. I come to do the Devil's work. I come to
counsel Christians they should belie themselves. There is blood
on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head!!

This recalls Giles Corey's anguished cry at the beginning of Act
III: "I have broke charity with the woman." The difference is
that Hale has "broke charity" with a lot more than one person.
And now he must break charity with God, by counselling them
to lie in order to save their lives.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller - Barron's Booknotes

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