In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale unquestionably suffers more than Hester Prynne, his accomplice in the affair that took place years ago. He is tortured by Roger Chillingworth, Hester's husband, who arrives in Boston and begins to 'assist' Dimmesdale with his illness. He is also tormented by Pearl, Hester and Dimmesdale's daughter, who, is a product of the affair. He also injures himself, as the shame of the incident literally makes
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only a few of the things that are driving Dimmesdale insane. Roger Chillingworth tries to make him admit he slept with Hester while Pearl also tries to make him admit his guilt. He even tries to tell his congregation during a sermon, but fails, as they think he is being modest and subsequently adore him even more so. Dimmesdale is headed into a downward spiral, and these people are acting as catalysts for his demise.