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What are the character traits of Roger Chillingworth in "The Scarlet Letter"?

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Quick Answer

Roger Chillingworth is highly cultured, intelligent and educated, but he lacks empathy. Roger Chillingworth, a character in "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is one of the most infamous antagonists in the history of American literature.

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Full Answer

In the beginning, Chillingworth seems to be civilized, and his background as a doctor shows him to be intelligent, peaceful and gentle. Hawthorne describes Chillingworth as a scholar. However, during the course of events in the novel, Chillingworth grows more cold and vicious, and he becomes obsessed with vengeance. This transformation makes him a complex character, and his destructive nature eventually drives him mad.

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