To the naked eye, the story of The Scarlet Letter appears to just be a well-written love story within a puritan society full of unexpected flips and turns. Upon closer examination, The Scarlet Letter is really filled with obsession, guilt, and morals. The author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, uses a twisted physician, a minister, and a very independent character to express the theme of revenge among his three main characters. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne uses his very different characters to show that no matter what type of person one may be, human nature is absorbed with revenge. Human beings are not perfect and the feeling to "get even" or "get back" at someone who has wronged you is very normal, almost expected. Roger Chillingworth is clearly the most obviously revengeful character. However, Aurther Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne are more significantly involved in the extraction of their revenge. Hawthorne's ultimate theme in The Scarlet Letter is vengeance amongst all of mankind. .
Since the moment Roger Chillingworth was introduced into the novel, revenge filled his mind. He first began gaining information from a stranger in the crowd of the puritan community about the familiar woman standing upon the scaffold. As soon as Chillingworth learns why Hester was on the scaffold he begins plotting his revenge for not only her, but also for the unknown father of the baby. He made it known that he would find the mystery man and bring him to justice. "It irks me, nevertheless, that the partner of her iniquity should not, at least, stand on the scaffold by her side. But he will be known! -he will be known! -he will be known!"(44) His first significant scene is begins when he is giving medicine to Hester in her cell. Hester was scared to take the medicine from him in fear of him trying to poison her for revenge. Chillingworth went on to explain that he wouldn't want to get revenge on his wife by killing her or by revealing his true identity as her husband, allowing her to be put to death.