Sins of Hester Prynne, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth in the Scarlet Letter

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Throughout the story, it is common that sinners are able to recognize this also among other sinners as displayed by Hester, Dimmesdale, Hibbins, and Chillingworth. One example of how this is shown is when Hester says, Something that would make me weep-if there were any tears bitter enough for it. But let it pass! It is of another miserable man that I would speak. Hester sees how Dimmesdale has sinned as she too is a sinner. Chillingworth has this same ability at which he says of Dimmesdale, I now see pious Master Dimmesdale has done a wild thing before in the hot passion of his heart-and I will discover it. Mistress Hibbins says to Hester Will you go with us tonight? There will be a merry company in the forest, and I would love to tell the Black Man that comely Hester Prynne should be with us. I do not agree with this in real life. In life, it is observing others and comparison to our own conscience which brings the ability to view a sinner within someone. It is a matter of experience in life, not experience in sin.

While in real life the purposeful harm of another person is immoral, we cannot say that Hesters adultery wronged Chillingworth in that neither of them believed him to be alive. The actions of Chillingworth were worse in that he knowingly made a choice to harm both Hester and Dimmesdale.

Within the story, the narrator states his opinion of Hesters adultery to be a horrible sin and states a woman should atone to her sins. This being said, the narrator takes a new tone after the meeting in the forest by explaining how the adultery was an act of love since Hester believed her husband to be dead. The narrator is of two minds in that the action itself is immoral, however, the reason for the action isnt.

Being honest is the best way to admit ones faults in that one is accepting these faults and not attempting to hide them any further. An honest person is easier to forgive as they have made a conscious choice to come clean about their actions instead of attempting to hide it. Admitting fault should not ab ea public matter, however, it is the best route to forgiveness.

The Scarlet Letter is very clearly proto-feminist. The most characteristic quote from the story is Hesters indignation and unwilling to let her shunning define her. Part 3 displays this when Hester helps a sick man who thanks her by stating, I can never repay your kindness...What a women of strength. That letter...must stand for able. Hester is strongly feminist as she stands up against the beliefs of her society and does not let others define her as a person.

The Puritans greatly exemplify the concept of hypocrisy. To begin with, the Puritans gave Hester an incredibly harsh punishment for adultery: the scarlet letter even though many of the Puritans committed similar or worse sins however, they were not caught and punished, escaping their sin without any punishment. The society calls for strict religious punishment however they are unwilling to enact this punishment when faced with it themselves. Many examples of this are present in the story. The main example of this was how Dimmesdale condemned Hester for her crimes even though he was the individual she had her affair with. This perfectly exemplifies the hippocratic nature of the society in that even the individual who was chiefly responsible for pushing such strict and fundamentalist punishments even had his own skeletons in the closet. It was not until this guilt drove him crazy that he finally admitted this to the society and afterwards perished.

Hawthorne seems to more focus on the impact of Hesters sin rather than the advent of it in itself. Hawthorne seems to condemn all sin with no redemption. Even as we see Hester later on, she still wears the badge of her sin. No matter what she does, she still continues to wear this badge almost signifying how there is no retribution for her sins. This ties in with the Christian belief that the only way for one to redeem their sin is at Gods discretion on judgement day.

In accepting Hester with all of her sins, the Puritans are rejecting their initial judgement of her based on their religious beliefs. At first, Hester was ostracized from society as a result of her sin. In spite of this, Hester continues to contribute to society and is eventually forgiven for her crime. This acceptance shows the Puritans actually momentarily stepping away from their devout Christianity, the Puritans are accepting humanity is not perfect and that mistakes happen.

When accepting the faults of others, we acknowledge humans are not perfect and that sympathy and understanding are very important considerations. When we forgive people, we accept their mistakes and also accept we are also susceptible to those own mistakes. When we forgive people, we act with compassion and accept the person as they are.

The feminist lens can be used to explain the differences present between Hester and Chillingworth. Chillingworth, Hesters husband was portrayed as cold, often disconnected. He expected comfort and affection from Hester while not reciprocating. This stress led to Hester cheating on him with Dimmesdale. Following this, Hester was condemned as a sinner while Chillingworth faced no punishment. We can see through the feminist lens how this injustice exists in that women were expected to be loyal to their husbands no matter the circumstances of their marriage or how cruel their husbands may be. The marxist lens is also applicable in that Dimmesdale was able to escape his punishment by being high ranking in society. He was able to utilise his influence over the town to escape suspicion and cowardly utilise Hester as his scapegoat. To expand, we can see how higher ranking officials control lower ranking individuals in order to protect themselves.


In Macbeth, women have a very small role and seem to be controlling things from the sidelines. For example, Lady Macbeth, while not doing very much herself, convinced Macbeth to kill King Duncan, starting the plot of the entire story. In Macbeth, women play a role of whispering into the ear of the men.

Lady Macbeth seems to use femininity as a method to gain trust and sit in the sidelines of the story. This being said, she is anything but feminine throughout the story. Lady Macbeth is a very strong character who pushes Macbeth to make tough decisions and forces him to be strong. This applies to the feminist lens by showing how even in a play written in the 17th century, women are portrayed as having a mind of their own and are less subservient to their male counterparts.

Macduff sees manliness as seeing things that were most precious to him and understanding they died at his fault. Malcolm sees manliness as taking revenge on Macbeth for killing Macduffs family. This contradicts with Malcolms earlier description of himself in that he has all but given up after Macbeth had taken his fathers throne and was prepared to not fight back. Macbeth espouses this definition earlier in the play by believing action was needed to solidify his throne and he cannot sit idly by while fate states he is holding a fruitless crown. Macbeths supposed manliness reduced his humanity by leading him down a dark path of murder and deception to try and hold onto his crown as tightly as possible.

The play suggests a true man is willing to take action to get what he wants and will take the blame for things which are his fault. By far, the character who best fits this is Macduff.

The most significant reference to blood within the play was after the murder of Duncan where Macbeth questions Will all great Neptunes ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? (II. ii. 78). To Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, blood represents the guilt and all the darkness which rose them to a position of power.

At the beginning of The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth is a well known and liked Thane with strong loyalty to the crown. After the advent of the prophecy, Macbeth dismisses it, belieing fate will lead to his rule and would never consider killing the king. This is not the archetype of a standard villain. Macbeth simply became who he became as a result of circumstance and pressure from his wife. Among many positive character traits, Macbeths primary flaw is ambition which takes over as soon as he gets a small taste of power.

I sympathize strongly with Macbeth. His overreaching ambition and susceptibility to suggestion brought great darkness into his being converting him to an evil character. I feel strong pity for such a man. He was a noble member of the Scottish nobility until the witches turned him down a pather of madness and senseless violence portrayed in the brutal and cruel murder of Macduffs family simply on a whim to hold power.

The forces determining the destiny of Macbeth are the intentions of the witches and Macbeths ambitions. The witches were the catalyst for the downfall of Macbeth, however if Macbeth was not as power-hungry as he was, the witches would not have had as much of an effect as they would have. Fate played small parts in this also, by pairing the witches with a subject so unfortunately susceptible to their manipulations. The best supporting factor of this are the apparitions which appear to Macbeth, leading to him conducting many atrocities such as killing the entire family of Macduff.

Throughout the story, Duncan is more noble than Macbeth: gifting those who performed well positions within the ranks of the nobility, thus being Macbeths nobility. Malcolm cared much about loyalty, showing another positive aspect. The King of England was holy, showing what Macbeth lacked as a result of his ambition. Banquo was his moral compass, attempting to make Macbeth make better decisions. The Thane of Cawdor was the power and darkness which was within Macbeth.

By utilisation of the readers response lense, I conclude I am satisfied by the ending to this play. It effectively completes the story of Macbeth having been turned corrupt by the appeal of power. Macbeths saying, I have no words. My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain than terms can give thee out, portray the demise of Macbeth: his overconfidence and power. Macbeth exemplifies the danger of power and overconfidence. This ending well displays this and finalizes the story.

My favorite scene portrayed within The Tragedy of Macbeth was the tragic and fatal realisation that Macduff was the product of a early form of a c-section. Leading up to this, Macbeths ego had grown astronomically to the point where Macbeth left his

castle alone under the belief he could not be killed by a man born by a woman. Unfortunately for him, Macduff was from his mothers womb, untimely ripped. This is a very memorable scene as it is a simple and unfortunate loophole to a statement which shows Shakespeare's comical ability to write and adds personality to the piece.

The most important theme of Macbeth is how power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. Macbeth, a noble and true servant to the crown fell down an incredibly dark path due to the allure of power. Desperate and insatiable need to grasp this power demolished the morals of this once great man, leaving him a shell of his former greatness.

Over the course of the play, my emotions moved from an uninterested and indifferent appreciation for the decisions of Macbeth to disgust, then to pity. At the beginning, I had little investment in Macbeth as a character, however, I respected him as a loyal servant to the king. After his killing of King Duncan, my emotions quickly shifted to a state of disgust in that he murdered a good man who trusted him and was a guest in his own home. This being said, as the story progressed and I understood the incredibly unfortunate tragedy of Macbeths circumstances, I began to feel a deep pity and sadness for how a man with such a promising future fell so far so quickly.

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth perfectly compliment one another as the story progresses. At the beginning, Macbeth was struggling to cling to his morals and incredibly hesitant about killing the king, however it was Lady Macbeths thirst for power which prompted the advent of that terrible act. After this, however, Macbeth became incredibly power crazy, essentially trading spots with the now regretful Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth in the end becomes increasingly worried as to the path her husband had taken and this crescendos to a final act of Lady Macbeth committing suicide.

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Sins of Hester Prynne, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter. (2019, May 18). Retrieved February 29, 2024 , from

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