Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible by focusing on how the characters, John Hale and Elizabeth Proctor changed in the course of the play, and how that change brought both positive as well as negative feelings in them.
John Hale is the young minister who is known for his knowledge on witchcraft. “..a tight-skinned, eager-eyed intellectual…called here to ascertain witchcraft he has felt the pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at last been publicly called for” (Miller). Hale enters the play when Reverend Parris asks him to examine the mysterious behavior of his daughter, Betty. In the initial stages of the play, he is the person who sets the witch trials into motion, investigating and finding out who are the culprits and asking them to confess or testify. But, in the course of the play, his drive to convict the accused supposedly involved in witchcrafts slows downs, as many hidden truths and the role of other persons comes into open. That is, when he listens to John Proctor and Mary Warren, he understands that Abigail was not telling the truths, including the reasons behind the children’s death. This creates a feeling in him that he might have trusted the wrong individuals. Also, when Rebecca was arrested and Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth was issued warrant for their involvement in witchcraft, Hale felt that he did not identified the true culprits. So, these events raises questions in his mind, whether he is right in going after the people involved in witchcraft, when so much deceits and false uttering is going on. So, in the climactic stages of the play, Hale belief in witchcraft weakens and in the court, he becomes the supporter of those, who are opposing the witch trials. So, John Hale changes from a dominant “witch-hunter” to a person, who losses control of the proceedings, undergoing both positive and negative feelings.
Elizabeth Proctor, wife of John Proctor, is another main character who undergoes changes in the course of the play.