In "The Crucible," Reverend John Hale is an expert on witchcraft who is excited to be able to put his knowledge to good use. He goes through a transformation in the play, and his views alter dramatically.
At the beginning of the play, Reverend Hale is a well-respected minister, confident in both himself and his beliefs. He attempts to get suspected witches to confess and encourages witnesses to testify in the Salem Witch Trials. Hale's enthusiasm allows him to be manipulated by Abigail Williams. He wants to find the truth but doesn't investigate the evidence thoroughly. Hale changes course and supports those in opposition to the trials after realizing they are telling the truth, but it is too late. Hale's confidence is shattered afterward, as he doubts the court system and his previous belief in witchcraft. Hale feels sadness that innocent people are dying, and he tries to save the accused from being hanged by encouraging them to confess. His desire for people to lie instead of be hanged shows he has lost all faith in justice. Hale is devastated when he's unable to convince anyone to confess, but he does have a newfound respect for the faith displayed by those he had previously accused.