Revenge as a Human Instinct

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  • Topic: Feud, Justice, V for Vendetta
  • Pages : 4 (1099 words )
  • Download(s) : 562
  • Published : December 9, 2007
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Revenge and vengeance are basic tools of human instinct. Whether society chooses to accept or blind itself to this fact, it is an indisputable truth. Francis Bacon examines this truth in "Of Revenge", a view of society and literary characters that reflects the strive for vengeance. However, "Of Revenge" deeply underestimates the corruption of the human spirit and soul. It completely disregards the presence of the basic human instinct which thrives on the manipulation and destruction of others, for the sake of satisfaction. Though Bacon's inferences to the book of Job or Solomon are perfectly viable to a character that chooses to take revenge after they have been wronged, to believe that "no man does evil just for the sake of evil" annihilates any complete sense of credibility that Bacon's thoughts imply. The author's aspirations of the seeking of revenge solely as a means of retribution for oneself, and not to satisfy the evil within the human soul, is a beautiful and idealistic.

Revenge (also vengeance, retribution, or vendetta amongst others) consists primarily of retaliation against a person or group in response to a perceived wrongdoing. Although many aspects of revenge resemble or echo the concept of justice, revenge usually has a more injurious than harmonious goal. The goal of revenge usually consists of forcing the perceived wrongdoer to suffer the same pain that was originally inflicted.

Revenge is a hotly-contested ethical issue in philosophy. Some feel that, at the very least, the threat of revenge is necessary to maintain a just society. In some societies, it is believed that the injury inflicted in revenge should be greater than the original one, as a punitive measure. The Old Testament philosophy of "an eye for an eye" (cf. Exodus 21:24) tried to moderate the allowed damage, in order to avoid a vendetta or series of violent acts that could spiral out of control—instead of 'tenfold' vengeance, there would be a simple 'equality of suffering'....
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