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Dimmesdale says that the father is equally as guilty and even though he should "have to come down from a high place" he would be better off in the end rather than trying to hide his sin. Of course, the irony is that Dimmesdale is speaking about himself. He is even in a "high place" both literally and figuratively at the time. He is up on a balcony looking down at Hester on the scaffold. He is also much beloved by the people. Of course, Hester refuses his request, but watch the spacial relationship between the two change during the second and third scaffold scenes. Dimmesdale ends up with Hester looking down on him.
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