why is proctor struck by Hale's declaration that "some secret blasphemy" has caused all of the confusion? how does Hale's statement relate to proctors later words to Mary Warren that he and Abigail will "slide together into our pit; you will tell the court what you know"?
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The secret blasphemy, as far as the Puritans are concerned, is the dark secret that John keeps hidden away. He and Abigail Williams, their young maid, had been hitting the sheets. The affair has been plaguing John's conscience. Hale intended his declaration towards witchcraft but John feels it directed to himself. The dramatic irony is that Hale, at this point, does not know about John's infidelity. Proctor does not forgive himself and is ready to fall with the conspirator of his sin, Abigail.