Tragic Heroes in The Scarlet Letter

Good Essays
In The Scarlet Letter, there are many people that can be considered tragic heroes. Each tragic hero has a tragic flaw that causes their downfall. Hester Prynne is a tragic heroin because of her downfall that is brought on by her love and loyalty to Reverend Dimmesdale.
Hester Prynne is a tragic hero because of her perseverance and determination in her journey with Pearl. Even though she is given the opportunity to leave Boston and remove the scarlet letter that she wears on her clothes, she chooses to stay and be with the father of her child. Her choice to stay with Dimmesdale made her life much worse than it needed to be. The people who she knew started to hate her. Even the homeless people whom she made clothes for ridiculed her for her unholy acts. Even though she is ridiculed and shunned by society, she still remains positive towards the people and does only good. When told to tell the name of the father she answers, "And my child must seek a heavenly father; she shall never know an earthly one." Hester tries does her best to raise Pearl the right way. By saying that her father will seek God, she tells the people that Pearl will be religious and will never know the identity of her biological father. The citizens of Boston are terrible to Hester because of her act. Although she has the option to tell everyone who Pearl's father is to stop her suffering, she remains silent to protect the identity of Dimmesdale. She endures her punishment alone so that Dimmesdale's reputation is not tarnished with the title of "adulterer." Hester protects Dimmesdale's image and future by not telling anyone that he is the father. Hester endures punishment for both parties involved with the crime.
Dimmesdale punishes himself cons...

... middle of paper ...

...y of her husband a secret from Dimmesdale. After being told the truth about Chillingworth, Dimmesdale screams, "Let God punish! Thou shalt forgive!" Dimmesdale goes on to tell Hester that she seduced him and that she is the devil for doing so. After all the accusations thrown at her, she still loves Dimmesdale, and he soon forgives her. Hester could start a new life elsewhere, without ridicule, without Dimmesdale, without Chillingworth, and without her scarlet letter.
Hester Prynne is a tragic heroin because of her overcoming of obstacles in an unorthodox situation. She has to deal with being ridiculed every day even though she can make it all stop by revealing who the father of Pearl Prynne is. Yet Hester's tragic flaw is her loyalty and love to Dimmesdale. She chooses to stay and protect his reputation and suffer rather than protect her own and live happily.