Please disable your adblock and script blockers to view this page.

The townsman tells the stranger that the judges have been lenient with Hester because of her youth and because she is probably a widow. What was the severest possible penalty for adultery in the Massachusetts Colony? How long does Hester have to stand on the scaffold? How long must she wear the scarlet letter?


The severest possible penalty for adultery in the Massachusetts Colony is death. Hester has to stand on the scaffold for three hours. She must wear the scarlet letter for the rest of her life.


More Questions

1. The stranger who appears at the outskirts of the crowd while Hester stands on the scaffold is slightly deformed. In which way?
2. What explanation does the stranger make to the townsman he speaks with that accounts for his combination of “civilized and savage costume”?
3. The townsman tells the stranger that the judges have been lenient with Hester because of her youth and because she is probably a widow. What was the severest possible penalty for adultery in the Massachusetts Colony? How long does Hester have to stand on the scaffold? How long must she wear the scarlet letter?
4. What seems to particularly disturb the stranger after he has learned of the sentence imposed on Hester?