Books and Movies Reviews

Dimmesdale as Tragic Hero

One may ask how The Scarlet Letter would fit the structure of a classical tragedy. The answer to this question is quite simple if you know how to identify a tragedy. A tragedy is a story that depicts serious incidents in which protagonists undergo a change from happiness to suffering, and often involves the death of others as well as the main characters. In The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale follows this structure perfectly. He is happy in the beginning, and then declines into suffering and finally, death. Many people believe that despite his less than noble actions, Dimmesdale can be considered the tragic hero. In order for us to give him that identity, we must investigate how Dimmesdale fits the characteristics of a tragic hero. In my opinion, if Dimmesdale is the hero, he must be in a high social state, have a tragic flaw, and fall to his ultimate fate.
Being the minister of the town qualifies Dimmesdale as a person of high social status. He is loved by many people for giving his intelligent and persuasive sermons. Almost every hero that has ever existed had this quality of high social status. If you look back into time, Beowulf, Superman, King Arthur: these heroes were all looked up to by many. In order for heroes to earn their names, they must have people that believe in them. In The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale had many people believing in him. His people believed in him so much that when Dimmesdale confessed to having sinned with Hester Prynne, they could not even picture him going against all that he has taught them. From committing the sin in thefirst place, Dimmesdale consequently became a more emotional and powerful minister, and his congregation had no idea that it was because of his shame. Dimmesdale had the townspeople on his side throughout the entire story until his confession and death. Dimmesdale had preached so strongly about sinning that his own followers could not forgive him, and they plac


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