Character Role Analysis
Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon
Judge Pyncheon frames his own cousin for murder, makes off with the family fortune, then comes back to bully the same cousin to within an inch of his life just to get yet more money that he doesn't need. We definitely think Judge Pyncheon is the undiluted antagonist of this book.
Judge Pyncheon doesn't come across his evil nature by accident; it's passed down to him from his ancestor, the Puritan Colonel Pyncheon. By founding the Pyncheon family legacy on the false accusation of Matthew Maule for witchcraft, Colonel Pyncheon makes sure his descendants will be greedy liars just like him.