The Crucible Dynamic Character Essay

Dynamic characters undergo a change in attitude throughout a literary work, and John Hale's attitude toward the witchcraft hysteria in Salem changes dramatically from his entrance in Act I to the play's final tragic scene in Act IV.  

When Hale arrives in Salem to investigate the suspicions of witchcraft, he is met with sycophancy from Parris, and it is fair to say that Hale acts rather officiously. He carries books he describes as "weighted with...

Dynamic characters undergo a change in attitude throughout a literary work, and John Hale's attitude toward the witchcraft hysteria in Salem changes dramatically from his entrance in Act I to the play's final tragic scene in Act IV.  

When Hale arrives in Salem to investigate the suspicions of witchcraft, he is met with sycophancy from Parris, and it is fair to say that Hale acts rather officiously. He carries books he describes as "weighted with authority" and tells Putnam, "let me instruct you." It is clear that Hale relishes his reputation as a witch hunter, and he tells Ann Putnam and Rebecca Nurse that if he finds Satan at work in Salem, he will "crush him utterly." He participates enthusiastically in the interrogation of Tituba and the girls and exclaims, "Glory to God!—it is broken, they are free!" when he hears public confessions and accusations.

As the conflicts escalate in Act II, Hale admits to Proctor (after Proctor challenges Hale about the reason people in Salem are confessing) that it occurs to him that people might confess simply to save themselves from hanging.  Even as events begin to escalate at the end of the act and Elizabeth, Rebecca, Martha, and others are arrested, Hale still believes in the infallibility of the court and trusts that justice will be done in the trials.

In Act III, Hale experiences grave doubts about the girls' testimony and tries to persuade Danforth that Elizabeth's perjury is an understandable act because she believes she is protecting her husband from the serious charge of lechery.  Hale becomes increasingly uncomfortable with the proceedings when he begins to understand that accusations are being made for personal gain, not because there is actually witchcraft being performed in Salem. He is clearly rattled by the number of death warrants he signs his name to, and when John Proctor is arrested in the wake of Mary Warren's cowardly accusation, Hale denounces the proceedings and quits the court.

Hale returns to Salem in Act IV, but he is a changed man.  Instead of assisting in the trials, he works to get people to confess so they do not sacrifice their earthly lives in a corrupt trial. Hale pleads with Elizabeth Proctor to get her husband to confess, telling her, "it may well be God damns a liar less than he that throws his life away for pride."

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Summary: The Crucible by Arthur Miller shows both static and dynamic characters. John Proctor is a dynamic character, this is shown through events, motivating forces, and circumstances.


The Crucible by Arthur Miller shows both static and dynamic characters. John Proctor is a dynamic character, this is shown through events, motivating forces, and circumstances.

John Proctor is a changing character throughout the whole play. He goes from being a quiet "farm boy," to being a man with a lot of courage. In the beginning of the play Proctor comes off as a very shy character with not much to say about anything. Finally Proctor has had enough when he shouts "Woman, I'll not have your suspicion anymore!" Proctor seems to keep things inside, until they get to be too much. He is always trying to please his wife Elizabeth. He has not left the farm in seven months. He says he has not left due to Elizabeth's sickness, really I think it's because he wants her forgiveness. Proctor seems to never be able to get a...

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This section contains 1,101 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)

View a FREE sample

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