Scarlet Letter Chillingworth Essay

The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter Essay

1056 Words5 Pages

The Character of Chillingworth in The Scarlet Letter


Old Mr. Prynne began his new life in the town of Boston as the Physician Roger Chillingworth. The moment he arrived, the town deemed him intelligent and mild mannered; he always seemed pleasant although a little odd. Throughout the seven years he remained in Boston, his character changed so dramatically from admirable to evil that even those who did not know him personally seemed to notice an evil nature deep within his soul trying to break free.


            Chillingworth stood with Hester Prynne within the confines of the prison, talking with her about how he would go about finding her lover. He says to her,…show more content…

"Hester looked at the man of skill, and even then, with her fate hanging on the balance, was startled to perceive what a change had come over his features, --how much uglier they were, --how his dark complexion seemed to have grown duskier, and his figure more misshapen..." (Pg.103).  Hester is not the only person to notice the change in Chillingworth; many of the townspeople recognize the changes in him as well, "At first his expression had been calm, meditative, scholar-like. Now there was something ugly and evil in his face, which they had not previously noticed, and which still grew more obvious to sight the oftener they looked upon him" (Pg. 117). Slowly but surely Roger Chillingworth is changing from a man with normal interests, to a man with an evil obsession; every day he is getting closer and closer to the dark side.


            Later on during the story while Hester and Chillingworth are in the woods talking about Dimmesdale, Hester shouts at Chillingworth, "You search his thoughts. You burrow and rankle in his heart! Your clutch is on his life and you cause him to die daily a living death!" (Pg. 156) Hester knows Chillingworth has more evil in his blood than ever before in his life; he feeds off the pain he causes Dimmesdale and enjoys every minute of it. Chillingworth doesn't realize in the slightest how much more evil flows through his veins now, than did before in his life. It

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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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