The story begins with an unfortunate marriage between Hester Prynne and Roger Chilingworth, which leads to adultery and revenge. As the story unfolds we learn that Hester commits adultery which was a sin punished very badly. Later on we are introduced to Roger Chilingworth, who is only known as a physician, not Hesters husband; he sins by hurting Hester and our next character Arthur Dimmesdale. The reverend Dimmesdale is known later on to be the father of the baby. His sin is as bad as Hesters and even worse because he committed adultery and he stood silent throughout the story until the end.
Firstly and most importantly is Hester Prynne. She is the main character, and the one who leads others to sin. She committed the sin of adultery, the sin that back in those days was punished with death. The only reason why they speared her life was because she did not want to name the father of the baby, and her baby could not live alone without a mother or a father. Therefore, in order to still practice their authority, the magistracy decided to punish her by making her wear the scarlet letter A on her bosom, and to stand in the scaffold for three hours every day. “But in their great mercies and tenderness of heart they doomed Mistress Prynne to stand only a space of three hours on the platform of the pillory, and then and thereafter, for the remainder of her natural life, to wear a mark of shame upon her bosom”.
On the other hand, we find Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, who was the father of the baby. It appears that he could not resist temptations of the flesh, even being a minister; he still fell into sin and adultery. Unlike Hester, Dimsdale did not have to pay consequences as far as to the outside world refers, due to the fact that Hester did not tell a soul that he was the father of the baby. Despite this, he still received his punishment, an internal punishment. “A well hidden secret, looking pure as new-fallen snow, while their hearts are all speckled and spotted with iniquity of which they cannot rid themselves.”
Finally, the last sinner was Roger Chilingworth. Even though he did not commit a sin that deserved death in that time, his sin was worse than any other. Not only did he destroy Reverend Dimsdale’s life, by torturing him with his analogies and indirect stories. He also destroyed his own life by making himself the one thing he hated the most, a fiend. “I have already told thee what I am, a fiend!
In conclusion, even though I think that all sins are equal in God’s eyes. Roger Chilingworth is the worst sinner because he tried to destroy someone else’s life. This can be shown by the following quote: “We are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world. There is one worse than even the polluted priest that old mans revenge has been blacker than my sins. He has violated in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart, thou and I Hester never did so.