When Reverend Hale first arrives in Salem, he has a great deal of confidence in his education and ability to root out evil. He comes bearing heavy texts that he feels are "weighted with authority." Hale seems to think highly of himself as the authority on witchcraft and devilry. He believes that "tracking down" the Devil requires only "hard study," and he has devoted his life to this study. He feels a lot of pride in his knowledge on this subject. Later, in Act Four, Hale acknowledges his arrogance and pride, saying that he "came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion [...] and what [he] touched with [his] bright confidence, it died [...]." By the day on which John Proctor has been sentenced to hang for witchcraft, Hale has realized his earlier errors in judgement. He did not spot corruption in the court as quickly as he could have, and he did not speak up about his reservations about how the trials were progressing as early as he should have. Hale does take responsibility for his mistakes, however, which is more than the other characters in a position of authority do.
HALE: Why can she not wake? Are you silencing this child?
TITUBA: I love me Betty!
HALE: You have sent your spirit out upon this child, have you not? Are you gathering souls for the Devil?
ABIGAIL: She sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer!
PARRIS: She have often laughed at prayer!
ABIGAIL: She comes to me every night to go and drink blood!
TITUBA: You beg me to conjure! She beg me make charm—
ABIGAIL: Don't lie! ( To Hale:) She comes to me while I sleep; she's always making me dream corruptions!
TITUBA: Why you say that, Abby?
ABIGAIL: Sometimes I wake and find myself standing in the open doorway and not a stitch on my body! I always hear her laughing in my sleep. I hear her singing her Barbados songs and tempting me with—
TITUBA: Mister Reverend, I never—
HALE, resolved now: Tituba, I want you to wake this child.
TITUBA: I have no power on this child, sir.
HALE: You most certainly do, and you will free her from it now! When did you compact with the Devil?
TITUBA: I don't compact with no Devil!