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The Scarlet Letter - Dimmesdale is Good, but Lacks Courage there's a fine line between hypocrisy and cowardice. Arthur Dimmesdale, a main character in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter gives a perfect illustration of how thin that line could be. The Scarlet Letter relates a story about the many consequences of not having strength of personality. The genuine character of Reverend Dimmesdale's character has been debated since the initial publication of this novel. Dimmesdale is considered by many to be a hypocrite because he cared more about protecting his own reputation than he did about shielding the woman he adored. Other people view the Reverend in a more sympathetic light and see him as not a hypocrite, but as a good man who merely lacked courage. The emptiness that Dimmesdale was a good man who only lacked the guts to come forward and acknowledge his sin is supported throughout the text of the novel. The book takes place in a tiny Massachusetts colony and revolves around an affair between a local girl, Hester Prynne, and a young reverend named Arthur Dimmesdale. As punishment, Hester is forced by the townspeople to put on a scarlet coloured, letter "A" upon her chest for the remainder of her lifetime. The letter could be a continuous reminder to Hester and the townspeople of her sin. Her sin is further compounded by the reality that she will not say the name of her accomplice- Dimmesdale. Hester has to face much suffering due to her sin. What distinguishes her torment from the type of distress that Dimmesdale incurred is that the Reverend's has been an internal pain, a disease on his heart that would finally make its way outside, consuming him and ultimately killing him. "If it be the soul's disease it g.. .