Why does Reverend Hale return to Salem in act 4 of The Crucible?

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At the end of Act III, Reverend Hale "denounces" the proceedings. This scene where Proctor attempts to provide multiple depositions to the court, one being Mary Warren admitting that there is no witchcraft happening, ends in Proctor himself being taken into custody for witchcraft. Hale realizes that the girls are lying, and he leaves. Act IV begins after several months have passed, in the fall. A conversation between Herrick and Danforth reveals that Hale has returned around midnight, and Danforth is suspicious of him. Herrick says, "He goes among them that will hang. . . he prays with them." Later, Hale speaks to Elizabeth and begs her to convince Proctor to confess so that he will be saved. Hale says to Elizabeth,

"Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bear gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and I what I touched with my bright confidence, it died."

Later, when Proctor decides to hang instead of confess, Hale screams, "Woman, plead with him! It is pride, it is vanity!"

Hale feels incredibly guilty for his part as a major catalyst for the witchtrials. He is doing everything he can to prevent further bloodshed. Because of this shift, Hale can be classified as a dynamic character, one who changes throughout the course of the play. 

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Danforth is visibly upset when he learns that Rev. Hale has returned to Salem. He says he doesn't have the right to be here. He demands to know why he is back in Salem.

Rev. Hale returns to Salem to try and save as many of the accused as possible. He is really concerned for Rebecca Nurse. She has been locked up for three months and hasn't spoken a word in this time. Rev. Hale is with her, trying to get her to confess to witchcraft and find salvation. He is also there praying for all of the accused. The sun is getting ready to rise, and Rev. Hale tells Danforth, that he needs more time. Danforth refuses to give him anymore time. Danforth is adamant that the executions go as planned. 

"Now hear me, and beguile yourselves no more. I will not receive a single plea for pardon or postponement. Them that will not confess will hang. Twelve are already executed; the names of these seven are given out, and the village expects to see them die this morning. Postponement now speaks a floundering on my part; reprieve or pardon must cast a doubt upon the guilt of them that died till now. While I speak God's law, I will not crack its voice with whimpering. If retaliation is your fear, know this-I should hang ten thousand that dared to rise against the law, and an ocean of salt tears could not melt the resolution of the statues. Now draw yourselves up like men and help me, as you are bound by Heaven to do. Have you spoken with them all, Mr. Hale?" 

This quote by Danforth, shows that no matter what he is going on with the execution. It doesn't matter that these people are innocent, Danforth only cares about how it would look on him if he allowed the people to go free.

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I assume you mean his return in Act IV. He came back to try and get the people who are about to be hanged to confess in order to save their lives. He tries to get Danforth to postpone the hangings as well. Hale now knows the trials were lies started by teenage girls who got caught doing something wrong. He is mostly concerned for Rebecca Nurse and John Proctor who are the first of the town's upstanding citizens to be hanged. He wants them to confess so they won't hang. He's trying to save their lives.

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In act 4 of The Crucible, Reverend Hale returns to Salem to try to convince convicted people to lie and falsely confess to witchcraft in order to avoid execution. In act 1, he was summoned to Salem to cleanse the community of evil. During the second and third acts, he realizes that his process is based on vengeful lies and false accusations; the trials devolve into a vindictive witch hunt pitting neighbors against each other and destroying the town’s social fabric.

After storming out of the courtroom at the end of act 3, Hale reappears in an attempt to quell the chaos he created. He wants to save the remaining accused. First, Hale pleas for their pardoning. He entreats Judge Danforth,

You must pardon them. They will not budge.

When Danforth refuses to pardon them (especially since twelve other people were already hanged), Hale tries another approach that appeals to the judge’s vanity:

Excellency, if you postpone a week and publish to the town that you are striving for their confessions, that speak mercy on your part, not faltering.

When Danforth refuses to budge, Hale emphasizes that the society of Salem is falling apart with so many people in prison due to accusations of witchcraft, which could directly backfire on Danforth:

Excellency, there are orphans wandering from house to house; abandoned cattle bellow on the highroads, the stink of rotting crops hangs everywhere, and no man knows when the harlot’s cry will end his life—and you wonder yet if rebellion’s spoke? Better you should marvel how they do not burn your province!

When none of his entreaties move Danforth, Hale admits the reason for his return to Salem:

I come to do the Devil’s work. I come to counsel Christians they should belie themselves … There is blood on my head! Can you not see the blood on my head!!

Ironically, the reverend wants the condemned prisoners to lie and falsely confess to witchcraft in order to save themselves from death. He feels remorse for initially fomenting hysteria that led to destruction and death. In order to soothe his guilty conscience, he now advises others to choose life over truth. He pleads with Elizabeth to tell her husband, John, to confess:

Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up. Beware, Goody Proctor—cleave to no faith when faith brings blood. It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice. Life, woman, life is God’s most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it. I beg you, woman, prevail upon your husband to confess. Let him give his lie. Quail not before God’s judgment in this, for it may well be God damns a liar less than he that throws his life away for pride.

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