Chillingworth Scarlet Letter Essay Title

Revenge in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

901 Words4 Pages

The Scarlet Letter:  Revenge


Revenge is the act of retaliating in order to get even with someone for the wrongs they have done. In the novel “The Scarlet Letter,” the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, uses Roger Chillingworth to reap revenge on Arthur Dimmesdale for his affair with his wife, Hester Prynne. Chillingworth becomes so devoted to revenge that is all his life revolves around. Chillingworth then devotes the rest of his life to taking revenge on Dimmesdale.

As the novel progressed, Chillingworth fits the profile of ‘vengeance destroys the avenger’. When Roger Chillingworth is first introduced to the reader, we see a kind old man, who just has planted the seeds for revenge. Although he did speak of getting his…show more content…

He,(Dimmesdale), is “a rare case…I must search this matter to the bottom” (Hawthorne, 158). When Chillingworth overheard Dimmesdale having a bad dream, he entered his quarters and “laid his hand upon his bosom, and thrust aside the vestment, that, … had always covered it even from the professional eye” (Hawthorne, 159). What Chillingworth saw there, no one knows, but we know that he saw Dimmesdale’s sin on his chest. “… With a wild look of wonder, joy, and horror … (with) the extravagant gestures with which he threw up his arms towards the ceiling, and stamped his foot upon the floor” (Hawthorne, 159). When Chillingworth becomes the Devil, he is doing many strange things. Chillingworth is keeping himself secluded, and is seen lurking around town in a creepy manner. Roger secluded himself from everyday life to keep his plot for revenge focused. His plot is working too, Dimmesdale’s “… soul shivers … at the sight of the man” (Hawthorne, 240). Chillingworth is also spending a great deal of time in the “forest trees … searching for roots and twigs, for his strange medicines” (Hawthorne, 145). The townspeople even see that Roger Chillingworth is pure evil. When the town first meets Chillingworth, they think he is a kind old doctor that would not harm a soul. “ At first, his expression had been meditative, scholar like” (Hawthorne,

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Essay on Morally Ambiguous Characters in The Scarlet Letter

746 Words3 Pages

In Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the deceptive Roger Chillingworth could most certainly be considered a morally ambiguous character. Throughout the novel, Roger Chillingworth everlastingly remains misleading as to whether he lies on the side of good or evil. Even at the end of The Scarlet Letter, the knowledge of Roger Chillingworth is extremely nebulous. The mysterious Roger Chillingworth, although ultimately emanating to be evil, attests to be a challenge when determining his morality. Roger Chillingworth attempts to beguile us by enacting the role of a physician, and ensconces his relationship with Hester Prynne. He lives with Arthur Dimmesdale, vindicating that he is serving Arthur Dimmesdale a helpful medicine, while…show more content…

It is in these chapters that Roger Chillingworth seeks revenge on Arthur Dimmesdale. In other words, in these chapters Roger Chillingworth acts as a leech that feeds on Arthur Dimmesdale, the leech’s patient. Roger Chillingworth utilizes his cleverness and mentality by claiming that he is living with Arthur Dimmesdale strictly under medical reasons. However, Roger Chillingworth actually lives with Arthur Dimmesdale because of his dilating surmises of who Pearl’s father might be. Roger Chillingworth is able to use his cleverness and mentality in a way that he contrives an identity that permits him to actualize whatever he may desire. With his cleverness and mentality, Roger Chillingworth effectively achieves moral ambiguity. Roger Chillingworth’s concealed history and background is most likely the most compelling element of his moral ambiguity. Throughout all of The Scarlet Letter, very little is known about the past of Roger Chillingworth, except that he comes from England and is the husband of Hester Prynne. Even at the very culmination of The Scarlet Letter, very little information regarding Roger Chillingworth’s past is discovered. With an arcane past, Roger Chillingworth is bestowed the ultimate ascendancy of moral ambiguity. One’s past may often act as a deficiency that one’s enemy may utilize at their own personal will. However, with a nebulous past, Roger

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