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Flashcards in The Crucible - Key Quotes Deck (14)
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‘I’ll not conceal it, my hand shakes yet as with a wound!’

Act 3. Hale has signed the death warrant of Rebecca Nurse. He feels immense guilt which is a catalyst for his loss of blind faith. His guilt is physically manifesting itself and he is struggling to conceal his true feelings. Also links to corruption as Hale knows executing these people is wrong.


'Eager-eyed intellectual...carrying a dozen heavy books...weighted with authority'

Act 1. Hale's entrance. He is described as 'eager-eyed' and an 'intellectual' which highlights his determination to show off his knowledge of witch craft - to do so would mean finding a witch. He relies heavily on his books which he describes as 'weighted with authority'. It is clear that Hale is going to take what he reads as fact and will not pay attention to common sense. This establishes his blind faith.


'He is different now…and there is a quality of deference, even of guilt about his manner now.'

Act 2. Stage direction as Hale enters. This takes place 2 weeks after the end of Act 1. Hale is going around the homes of those "named" in court to satisfy himself that they are innocent or guilty. His manner has changed slightly as we see guilt beginning to affect him. However, Hale has not yet lost his blind faith and still believes fully in the court. He will not allow his guilt to overcome him as he will be destroyed.


‘It is his own suspicion, but he resists it.’

Act 2. Hale has just been told the girls are lying and that witchcraft is not alive in Salem. He has clearly already considered this possibility as it is 'his own suspicion'. However, Hale 'resists it' because he still has blind faith. He knows that if he admits the truth he will be overcome with guilt and be destroyed. The audience, however, is given some hope that Hale might eventually see sense.


‘I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.’

Act 3. Hale is questioning the legitimacy of the trials and they death sentences handed out. His beliefs will not allow him to take a life (sign a death warrant) without absolute proof. The implication here is that he is not entirely convinced by the evidence which has been presented to the court and which has subsequently led to the death sentence being passed. His guilt is manifesting itself more openly now as he questions the court outright and his blind faith diminishes.


‘I may shut my conscience to it no more – private vengeance is working through this testimony!’

Act 3. Nearer the end of Act 3, Hale is reacting to the "performance" out on by the girls. He is now openly rebelling against the court and has lost his blind faith. His guilt makes him speak out against the girls, whose testimonies are what the court relies upon. Hale is aware he was once taken in by these stories and he is aware he has convicted people based upon them. There is also a change here from Act 2. He no longer believes that the hysteria is some "act of God" but that it can be simply put down to Abigail wanting revenge.


‘I denounce these proceedings!…I denounce these proceedings, I quit this court!’

Act 3. KEY SCENE. At the end Hale has had enough of the corruption in the court. He publicly declares the court evil as it has allowed the girls to manipulate it into hanging several members of Salem society. At this point Hale's blind faith has disappeared and he can no longer be a part of the court as he does not believe in it. He is also in open rebellion against the court. It is important to note that it is his guilt that has driven him to this action.


‘He is steeped in sorrow, exhausted, and more direct than he ever was.’

Act 4. Hale re-enters Salem months later as a very different man. His entrance contrasts greatly from what we saw in Act 1. His time away as allowed him to re-evaluate his faith and we now see the destructive effect of guilt upon him. It is clear that Hale is here to try and rectify what he has done and the audience is clear that he will fight to save those who have been condemned.


‘I come to do the Devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves.’

Act 4. Here the audience sees how dramatically Hale has changed. He tells the judges that he "comes to do the Devil's work" - in other words, he is asking people to lie (a sin) about being in league with the Devil in order that their lives might be saved. Given that Hale was a devout Puritan minister, this is quite a turnaround. Hale is now completely aware that faith should not be followed blindly and that the accusations made against the townspeople are false. Again, he is pointing at the corruption of the court and showing his open rebellion against it.


‘There is blood on my head!’

Act 4. Hale's guilt is clear. An echo from Macbeth ("out damned spot!") Hale believes that he carries the blame of murdering innocent people. Ultimately, it is this guilt, brought about by his loss of blind faith, that motivates Hale to speak with the prisoners and ask them to lie to save their lives. The audience feel sympathy for Hale here but are proud he is trying to correct his mistakes.


‘I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved.’

Act 4. Hale's speech to Elizabeth. Hale recognises what he has done. This speech is his moment of realisation. He knows that he entered Salem determined to prove his intelligence and authority and as a consequence began the hysteria. He knows he was full of pride and arrogance and that it has destroyed him - he has lost his blind faith. Ironically, he should be proud of himself now that he has realised this.


‘where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up’

Act 4. Hale's speech to Elizabeth. This part of Hale's speech is more specifically about his blind faith. He is aware that he blindly followed the teachings of his religion and now recognises that all that did was bring death and destruction to the people of Salem. This links to his guilt as he is aware that death is the consequence of his earlier blind faith.


‘Hale weeps in frantic prayer’

Act 4. Hale is distraught in the end. His weeping symbolises the destruction of the Puritan regime. Hale, a once respected Puritan minister, mourns the death of those who have been accused of witchcraft, deaths which he blames himself for causing. At the end Hale is utterly destroyed by his blind faith and guilt - he has been unable to save innocent people from hanging.


‘Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own.’

Act 4. Hale's speech to Elizabeth. Here Hale recognises that he came into Salem village with the wrong priorities. Originally brought in to disprove witchcraft, Hale made it his mission to prove his intelligence and authority. To do so he had to find a witch. It is now in Act 4 that Hale recognises this was wrong - he has lost his blind faith and is overcome with guilt for his mistake.