The Innocence Of Arthur Dimmesdale

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Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, whose name and status repels any trace of ignominy, shares the sin of adultery with Hester Prynne. Even though he did commit this sin, he constantly repented and punished himself. He was tortured continually by his physician and supposed friend so that he suffered more. When there was the hope of freedom from his sin ahead of him, he decided instead, to share the news of what he had done with the people of Boston. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, is indeed, an innocent man.

Not a strong man to begin with, Arthur Dimmesdale inflicted torture on himself in repentance for his iniquity. He would force his feeble body to fast when it wasn't necessary and to hold many vigils, to show his regret to his God. His health steadily decreased, but he still felt that the wickedness of his sin had not been compensated for. He would sit in his closet with a bloody scourge and inflict torture upon his own body.

The townspeople looked up to their Reverend with awe and believed that, because of his sickly state "that, if Mr. Dimmesdale were really going to die, it was cause enough that the world was not worthy to be any longer trodden by his feet." (page 122) To add to Arthur Dimmesdale's tortures, a man using the name Roger Chillingworth, tortured him daily. Chillingworth, a physician sent to help the Reverend, kept him alive just to deliver his revenge upon him because he had been Hester Prynne's husband. Chillingworth tried to coax Dimmesdale into revealing his sin, but only by chance did he find out what it was. Thus, he used it to torment the Reverend. During one of Dimmesdale's vigils, in which he had been driven "by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere" (page 146) to stand on the scaffold of iniquity where Hester had once stood. His cowardliness allowed him to do what he couldn't bring himself to do in broad daylight only under the cover of dark. Roger Chillingworth happens by and sees Dimmesdale and Hester there and a strange feeling comes over Arthur Dimmesdale. He cries out to Hester, "Who is that man, Hester? I shiver at him"¦ I hate him!" (page 153) The next time the Reverend and Hester meet again, they make plans to run away from New England and their sin. Dimmesdale's health is very weak, as the result of years of torment from his physician. On the day they were supposed to leave, Arthur Dimmesdale decides that God will not forgive them if they ran away together. Instead, he calls to Hester for help, since he is very weak, to assist him up to the scaffold. There, he proclaims to the people of New England, "ye, that have loved me!- ye, that have deemed me holy!-behold me here, the one sinner of the world!" (page ) He had confessed to his sins, whereas, a lesser man would not have.

Arthur Dimmesdale, Reverend to the people of Boston, once paramour to Hester Prynne, departed from this world with his sins known. He was good pious man during life, except for what one might call a momentary lapse, which he suffered greatly by his own hands and in the hands of Roger Chillingworth. Even though Dimmesdale did indeed sin once, he repented for a million sins. For all these reasons, Arthur Dimmesdale is an innocent man.