Guilt and shame haunt all three of the main characters in The Scarlet Letter, but how they each handle their sin will change their lives forever. Hester Prynne’s guilt is publicly exploited. She has to live with her shame for the rest of her life by wearing a scarlet letter on the breast of her gown. Arthur Dimmesdale, on the other hand, is just as guilty of adultery as Hester, but he allows his guilt to remain a secret. Instead of telling the people of his vile sin, the Reverend allows it to eat away at his rotting soul.
Even years after Hester Prynne’s death, the scarlet letter continues to have a negative impact on anyone that views it. Originally, the scarlet letter is meant to put Hester to shame. While initially being publicly prosecuted for her crime, a young wife in the crowd mentions, “let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always on her heart” (49). This immediately sets Hester apart from the rest of society and employs that the letter will be a part of her for the rest of her life. During her public prosecution, Hawthorne depicts Hester’s elegant, dignified beauty and the crowd’s eyes being drawn to the scarlet letter by stating, “it had the effect of a spell, taking her out of th... ... middle of paper ... ...ways.
In the Puritan era, committing the sinful act of adultery is illegal and punishable by a variety of condemnations. When Hester Prynne commits adultery, she is forced to wear the scarlet letter on her bosom because she refuses to confess who her partner is. The presence of the scarlet letter changes the Puritan society’s view of Hester. The scarlet letter’s initial role as an allegory of sin is projected onto Hester as a whole. The young people are taught to “look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,—at her, the ... ... middle of paper ... ...its evolution as a symbol through time.
With a private guilt that Dimmesdale has, it is like torture to himself because every day he knows he has committed an unlawful act that he should be punished for. Yet, he cannot confess because he is one of the town’s ministers, which makes him someone that people look up to. In the story, not only were Dimmesdale and Hester emotionally broken, but Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth, as well. It emotionally changes Roger as person, because he turns into a real evil person who is fill with hate and revenge, after he realize that his wife, Hester, had an affair and a baby with someone else. With this private guilt that Dimmesdale has within him, it starts to take a toll on his health, because his guilt builds up to a point where he psychologically and physically tortures himself.
This leads Creon to get enraged at his son and his mind is still set on executing Antigone. Haimon responds by saying “Not here, no: She will not die here, King... ... middle of paper ... ...herself from suffering. However, this wasn’t the case with Creon because his entire family perished right before his eyes and he has no way to relief his pain. Thus, Creon is the tragic character of the play due to his everlasting grief caused by his flawed personality. In conclusion, Creon is the tragic character of Antigone because of his pride which caused him never ending agony by the end of this tragedy.
Although, the Misfit is introduced toward the end of the story, his conversation with the Grandmother indicates he has no awareness of why the punishments for his wrongdoings were so severe. While speaking to the Grandmother he states that “‘[he] calls [himself] the Misfit [..] because [he] can’t make what [he did] wrong fit [in with what] he [went] through in punishment’’’(O’ Connor 26). The Misfit is an objectively awful person; not only for murdering countless victims, but for believing that since he is completely outside conventional morals his harsh punishment is undeserving. By Misfit labeling himself outside moral conduct he has no boundaries for his deeds because he has no value of right from wrong. Furthermore, the Misfit does not have any sympathy or regret for those he murders and simply forgets his wrongdoings.
“And be the stern and sad truth spoken, that the breach which guilt has once made into the human soul is never, in this mortal state, repaired” (158). Arthur Dimmesdale confesses his sin, but it makes such a big impact on him that he will always be reminded of it. The sin leaves a “breach,” or a hole, in him which cannot be fixed. Living in a Puritan community also makes it that much harder for Dimmesdale to keep his secret. Since the religion is completely strict and absolutely prohibits sins like adultery, he has no choice but to feel guilt and regret.
Yet, he still continued to act mad towards Ophelia by telling her “ You should not have believed me, for virtue / cannot so (inoculate) our old stock but we shall / relish of it. I loved you not.” (III.i.127-129). These cold and harsh words state a completely different attitude than his previous behaviors and tones he used when addressing Ophelia. This break up along with his father’s death adds even more misery than Hamlet expected to take, and that caused him to take an offensive stance against Ophelia. Hamlet genuinely reacts mad and crazed towards Ophelia even though he knows no one else but him and Ophelia are in the room, but the reader is able to understand that Claudius and Polonius are eavesdropping.
In contrast to H... ... middle of paper ... ...t to acknowledge that fact than to live your life a lie. By keeping sin secret from the world like Dimmesdale, your conscience eats at your spirit until you are no longer able to live a healthy, normal life. Hooper's demeanor and sermons scared everyone into seeing their own sins and when looking at his black veil, they saw their own faults, which petrified them for they knew they were pretending to be one of the elect, and that none of them could be perfectly sinless. The horror and the hate people felt towards both the black veil and the scarlet letter was an outward manifestation of the horror and hate they all had for their own sins. Thus it brings us back to the theme that Hawthorne makes so clear in both the Scarlet Letter and "The Minister's Black Veil," that though manifested sin will ostracize a person from society, un-confessed sin will destroy the soul.
Hester’s husband, Chillingworth, is displayed in a bad light because he is a fraud and lies to society. The town’s minister, Dimmesdale, is perceived by readers to be a selfish man, who won’t confess his sins. Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale are all illustrated in many different aspects throughout this novel. But the loudest and boldest characteristics these characters have are the qualities that represent their sins. Hester Prynne, the profound adulterer, is interpreted by her sin and becomes known for her sin.