Chillingworth's Dramatic Irony

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Nathaniel Hawthorne in the 18th century novel The Scarlet Letter tries his hand through the novel to use dramatic irony to develop suspense and foreshadowing within it. Hawthorne creates these ideas through the character transformation of the many bodies within his story, primarily Hester Prynne from her punishment for sin, the townspeople from the predominant characters, Dimmesdale from his hidden sin, and Chillingworth from his heinous, devilish intentions. These people are used as they’re the main focus of the book, and when interacting together can create all three of the aforementioned traits, be it through the sight of Chillingworth through the townspeople’s eyes or the connection between Dimmesdale’s pain and Hester’s mark on her chest.…show more content…
This device is also developed through Dimmesdale accepting Chillingworth in his home, as he allowed a symbol of drastic rancor and evil in the very place in which he should feel the safest. Chillingworth’s previously described intentions and Dimmesdale’s actions and habits towards his illness both foreshadow the event of Dimmesdale’s death. Chillingworth desires only the most harsh, severe, deep-rooted revenge on the man who sinned with his wife, and with that man now in his vicinity, it will not be difficult for the physician to discover the object of his heated anger and hatred. With this in mind, the reader can easily gather the events later within the novel, Dimmesdale’s inexorable death. Keeping this in mind, Dimmesdale is also ill, a punishment from god for his unspoken sin, as thus far the praised and respected reverend has yet to confess his sin of adultery. This unspoken truth is seemingly being punished by God in the form of pain within his chest, diminishing his health in petite spurs through his daily life. So long as his sin remains untold, the reader can collect that should Chillingworth not murder Dimmesdale on his own, he will be killed by his illness instead. Thus, all three devices are tied together in one, singular
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