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In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, we are introduced to two totally different characters. The first character we encounter is Abigail Williams, an orphan child who stirred up trouble in their small town. Because of Abigail being a delinquent, Reverend Hale, the second character, is called to town to mend, and rid them of “the devil”.
In The Crucible, Abigail Williams is a one dimensional character, a character which remains the same throughout the plot.Throughout the play, you begin to see Abigail’s mental illnesses take form. Although Miller does not state she is mentally ill, you use context clues to slowly piece together her life. Miller has lead us to believe that Abigail has schizophrenia, “a mental disorder that makes it hard to: tell the difference between what is real and not real; think clearly; have normal emotional responses; act normal in social situations” (National Library of Medicine). Many scenes, including where she shows no remorse when she is accusing innocent people and they are sentenced to death, indicates she has schizophrenia. Abigail also seems to have psychosis, “a loss of contact with reality that usually includes: false beliefs about what is taking place or who one is (delusions), seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations)” (National Library of Medicine). You see this pretty much at every point in the play. At first you think she really sees these things and the devil is real, then John Proctor helps us realize that she is faking it.Either she is a really good actress, or she really did have psychosis.
Reverend Hale, a good hearted man, begins to get the bottom of all this nonsense. He first claims it is witchcraft and all the girls started saying they saw other of the townspeople with the devil. Hale felt glorious. he was opening these young girl’s eyes to the Lord! They admitted to doing wrong therefore they were spared by giving up who was accompanied the devil. Hale believed he was doing right. Doing God’s work here on earth for him. Ridding the world of witches. As the play carries on, Hale began to see things how they really are. In Act II, he goes to the Proctor house and warns them that John Proctor’s wife was brought up in court by none other than Abigail Williams. After Proctor told Hale that Abigail admitted to him that they were just sporting and werent really conjuring spirits, Hale soon saw the truth. Everyone claiming to see the devil or spirits were all lying. As he pieced the puzzle together, he saw that everyone who accused someone of witchcraft, was actually going to gain something when that person was hung. No one could get out of this trail without losing something. If you denied you were a witch, you were hung, if you admitted to it, you punished, but remained living. Hale realized this, but had no idea how to fix it. He couldn’t address this to the court because he had no proof and they would think he was doing the devils work by getting all the accused off the hook. His hands were tied.
Reverend Hale throughout the play grew. He learned. Hale was blinded during the whole play. He thought God was revealing everything for him, but instead, he was played. Although Reverend Hale has nothing mentally wrong with him, he is very gullible and just lets anything and anyone around him influence him.
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