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One of humanity's most basic instincts is that of revenge. Revenge is one of the defining traits of humanity. The drive to exact vengeance on one's enemy is the driving force behind many pivotal events in human history. The object of every war is to get revenge on the other side. Revenge is also a common motive for robbery and murder. There is no denying that revenge is a force for terrible deeds in this world, but at the same time it is a basic human desire. Stories of retribution are some of the oldest humans have ever told and also some of the most treasured. In the Christian Bible, one of the most revered texts in human history, vengeance is a key element to many stories. When Adam and Eve eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden, God takes his retribution on them by banishing them from the garden for all time. Cain takes revenge on Abel for outdoing him in his sacrifices to God. The list goes on, the point being that people have been taking revenge upon one another since the dawn of man. Even though the desire to obtain revenge often leads people to perform criminal, or at least unkind, acts, it is necessary for human society to function. Revenge acts as a very effective deterrent against undeserved violence. When man first learned to use tools and communicate, there was no police force or other entity capable of enforcing rules of any kind. If not for the threat of later revenge, there would not have been any reason for early humans to refrain from killing and stealing from each other. Revenge is the most basic and the most crude check on greed and just available to humans. The threat of retaliation provides enough of a negative incentive against many crimes as to be a very effective deterrent for a plethora of would-be criminals. However, revenge is by no means a perfect deterrent. This is especially clear in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Take Claudius, for example. He could not conceivably have thought that Hamlet would not eventually want to take...
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