Study Guide

The Crucible Other

By Arthur Miller


Act II
Reverend John Hale

HALE: I am a stranger here, as you know. And in my ignorance I find it hard to draw a clear opinion of them that come accused before the court. And so this afternoon, and now tonight, I go from house to house—I come now from Rebecca Nurse's house and—
ELIZABETH, shocked: Rebecca's charged!
HALE: God forbid such a one be charged. She is, however—mentioned somewhat.
ELIZABETH, with an attempt at a laugh: You will never believe, I hope, that Rebecca trafficked with the Devil.
HALE: Woman, it is possible.
PROCTOR, taken aback: Surely you cannot think so.
HALE: This is a strange time, Mister. No man may longer doubt the powers of the dark are gathered in monstrous attack upon this village. There is too much evidence now to deny it. You will agree, sir?
PROCTOR, evading: I—have no knowledge in that line. But it's hard to think so pious a woman be secretly a Devil's b**** after seventy year of such good prayer.
HALE: Aye. But the Devil is a wily one, you cannot deny it. (II.203-211)

Elizabeth and Proctor want to believe that Rebecca’s good reputation will save her, but in this time of craziness, nothing is certain.