Arthur Dimmesdale”s Guilt and Hypocrisy

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s gripping story, The Scarlet Letter, a revered Puritan minister suffers from cowardly guilt and hypocrisy after he commits adultery in this novel staged in the seventeenth century. Arthur Dimmesdale, who hides himself within the disgrace of his lover, Hester Prynne, protects his popularity among the Puritan folks. The scaffold, a public image of disgrace, contrasts with the pastor’s silent sin of adultery. When Hester became a symbol of sin among the individuals and wore the scarlet letter as punishment, Dimmesdale bears a sinner’s masked mark in his coronary heart.

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As a results of his concealed sin, Dimmesdale suffers from guilt and hypocrisy. Over the course of the three scaffold scenes, Dimmesdale modifications from cowardly guilt and hypocrisy, to determined guilt and hypocrisy, and finally to repentant hope.

In the primary scaffold scene, Dimmesdale is conscious of his guilt and hypocrisy when he questions his lover, Hester Prynne, but is too cowardly to confess his sin. Questioning the adulteress from a balcony alongside the spiritual and political leaders of the Puritan colony, the creator, Nathaniel Hawthorne, correlates Dimmesdale’s elevated place among the Puritan colony and reveals Dimmesdale’s reputation at stake.

Placing strain on the younger woman, Dimmesdale pleads, “Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him; for consider me, Hester, although he had been to step down from a excessive place and stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame, but higher had been it so, than to hide a guilty coronary heart by way of life.

”1 Wordlessly relieved by her silence, Dimmesdale cowardly withheld his sin from the general public.

The significance of Dimmesdale’s cowardice parallels with the disgrace and concern of the scaffold and the mockery it brings. Seven years later, in the second scaffold scene, Dimmesdale is desperate to confess as a outcome of his guilt and hypocrisy have only increased, but he manages solely a cowardly non-public rehearsal of his confession. In the nonetheless of the night, Dimmesdale desperately climbed the scaffold and shrieked aloud, “It is done!”2 It was not so. Shrieking aloud like these suffering souls who flip away from the face of God, Dimmesdale felt little reduction from the iron chains of guilt and hypocrisy. Longing to free his guilty soul, Dimmesdale stood on the scaffold imagining Hester’s disgrace. Illustrating his inside conflicts, Dimmesdale had expressed himself by screaming aloud. Immediate horror encompassed him because he is afraid of being discovered by the city. Alone in the abyss of darkness, upon the pedestal of shame, Dimmesdale discovered little reduction in his personal confession in the second scaffold scene.

Finally, a number of days later, Dimmesdale confesses his sin publicly within the third scaffold scene, exhibiting his repentance and thereby finding aid from guilt and hypocrisy. Allowing his sin to fester in his heart for over seven years, Dimmesdale, now a dying man from sin, decided to ascend the scaffold. Dimmesdale, understanding that he, a dying man, sought mercy and forgiveness, and climbed the pedestal in guilty regret. “Ye which have beloved me!—ye, that have deemed me holy!—behold me here, the one sinner of the world! At last I stand upon the spot the place seven years since, I should have stood!”3 Beckoning Hester and their youngster, Pearl, to his facet, Dimmesdale’s voice strengthened. As he confesses, the people recognized Dimmesdale bore the identical stigma that marked Hester. Dimmesdale asks for forgiveness, therefore finishing his needed responsibility to receive the benefit of redeeming grace and hope and releasing himself from the devil’s clutches.

A dramatic character, Dimmesdale adjustments via the course of three scaffold scenes as a end result of his hidden sins. Arthur Dimmesdale acknowledges his sin in the last scaffold scene as he realizes his cowardice when Hester is punished and acknowledges his sufferings brought on by his hidden sins seven years later. Driven by the belief that his offences dictate his life, Dimmesdale’s sins choked him from a deeper non secular life. At first with out success, Arthur Dimmesdale tried to free himself, but doesn’t achieve this till the third scaffold scene when he lastly confesses. In conclusion, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, reminds the reader to be wary of cowardly guilt and hypocrisy as demonstrated in Arthur Dimmesdale’s character: “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, but some trait whereby the worst could additionally be inferred.”4 Free of guilt and hypocrisy in his public confession, Dimmesdale died in hope of God’s mercy.

1-4 Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Scarlet Letter (Dover Thrift Study Edition: The Complete Work + Comprehensive Study Guide: Copyright 2009 by Dover Publications) p. 47, p. 102, p. 127, p. 174
Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. This work belongs to Ashlyn R. Thomas and is in all probability not reproduced without consent. If discovered plagiarizing and/or utilizing this work, you could be prosecuted. This is just to be used as inspiration, and not taken as somebody else’s personal work.

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