Hester Prynne is condemned to wear a scarlet A on her dress as punishment for having an affair with an unknown man. Forced to live on the “outskirts” of the Puritan settlement, she is raises her illegitimate child alone.

Her husband, who has just arrived in the village after two years of captivity in the wilderness, sees her on the “pedestal of shame” and, concealing his identity, resolves to discover the truth about her relationship. However, Roger Chillingworth soon becomes obsessed with an “intimate revenge”. Meanwhile, the young and revered minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, continues to suffer from a mysterious disease of the heart.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” is an intense psychological love story. On this page, you will find links to detailed guides on the writer’s presentation of the characters and the novel’s most important themes.