The Scarlet Letter Essay
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter, Roger Chillingworth is a villain. He took upon this role after his arrival in Boston when he found that his wife, Hester Prynne, had committed adultery. Fueled by anger, he became villainous and wicked, and began to search for Hester’s fellow sinner. Chillingworth spent the next seven years devoted to torturing Arthur Dimmesdale, who he suspected to be the culprit. He attached himself to Dimmesdale like a parasitic leech, and sucked life from him until none was left.
In the beginning of the book, Chillingworth did not seem evil or villainous at all. When he spoke to Hester for the first time after her sin, he did not jump right to revenge but first attempts to take the blame for the act. “I seek no vengeance, plot no evil against thee. Between thee and me, the scale hangs fairly balanced. But, Hester, the man lives who has wronged us both! Who is he?” (67). At this time, his focus turned from Hester to her fellow sinner. Despite, his pleas, Hester did not reveal her accomplice.
Chillingworth then became enraged and turned villainous. He vowed that he will commit his life to finding the man who has wronged him. “Recognize me not, man thou wottest of. Shouldst thou fail me in this, beware! His fame, his position, his life, will be in my hands. Beware!” (68-69). In this quote, Chillingworth changed. His heart became full of hate, and he began to plot to his revenge. Hester even went as far as to question if the devil hag taken hold of him. This is the first step Chillingworth made towards villainy.
Later in the book, it seemed Chillingworth has begun to suspect that Dimmesdale is the accomplice. After the townspeople became alarmed of Dimmesdale’s ailing health, Chillingworth offered to live with the minister and keep a constant eye on him. Being unaware of Chillingworth’s intentions, the townspeople accept, and Chillingworth is allowed to gain insight on...