The Effects Of Revenge In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Why do people feel the need to exact revenge? What is the appeal of causing another person 's suffering after being hurt? In theory, a person should simply be able to ignore and forget, but in practice, retribution appears to be the better option. Psychologically, when a person is hurt, one seeks another to blame instead of accepting the situation. People believe that if the culprit suffers, their own pain will diminish as a result. Even Shakespeare acknowledged the attractiveness of revenge when he wrote, "If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" Many justify revenge using any reason imaginable, but as Roger Chillingworth from Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter confirms, the effects of revenge surpass the pain of the target. In reality, seeking revenge causes the destruction of the seeker 's life as well. While Chillingworth 's anger concerning Hester and Dimmesdale 's affair is understandable, in seeking retribution upon Dimmesdale, Chillingworth sacrifices his conscience and integrity. …show more content…
When he discovers that Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father, Chillingworth utilizes poisonous herbs to physically mistreat Dimmesdale (127). As a physician, Chillingworth’s obligation is to improve his patient 's medical condition. His actions, however, do the opposite to Dimmesdale. By deliberately poisoning Dimmesdale, Chillingworth is breaking the Hippocratic Oath, a commonly used guideline for doctors that states, "Do no harm." Because of this action, Chillingworth is no longer a respectable doctor. Even though no one in the public is aware of his poisoning, Chillingworth’s reputation as a doctor has been tarnished. He uses his medical knowledge for his selfish endeavor rather than to benefit the sick. It makes no difference

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