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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Revenge
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0923  Friday, 28 April 2000.

[1]     From:   Jim Lusardi <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Apr 2000 10:55:40 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0916 Re: Revenge

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Apr 2000 09:36:02 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0916 Re: Revenge

[3]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Apr 2000 13:53:46 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0916 Re: Revenge

[4]     From:   David Bishop <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Apr 2000 15:53:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0916 Re: Revenge


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Lusardi <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Apr 2000 10:55:40 -0400
Subject: 11.0916 Re: Revenge
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0916 Re: Revenge

For suggestive distinctions concerning the concept of revenge in
Shakespeare's time, see Harry Keyishian, The Shapes of Revenge:
Victimization, Vengeance, and Vindictiveness in Shakespeare, Atlantic
Highlands, NJ:  Humanities Press, 1995.

Jim Lusardi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Apr 2000 09:36:02 -0700
Subject: 11.0916 Re: Revenge
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0916 Re: Revenge

Hi, Tony.

I don't think the issue is quite cut and dried.  After all, a lot of
people-families of victims, fans of capital punishment-still cry for
'justice' when they mean 'revenge'.  This doesn't mean that there's no
conceptual difference, only that the moral and rhetorical force of
justice can be appropriated by mere vengefulness, especially in very
emotional circumstances.  In any case, I'm not sure that the distinction
can be worked out empirically, by listing how people used (and abused)
the terms.  Even those now who occasionally conflate justice and revenge
still grasp that there is a distinction, at least at a conceptual level.

By the way, Bacon's description of revenge as "a kind of wild justice"
seems to be acted out in Romeo and Juliet.  In the debate which
concludes 3.1, the two warring parties clearly hold revenge to be
synonymous with justice, in which case Romeo's "fault concludes but what
the law should end, / The life of Tybalt" or, conversely, "Romeo slew
Tybalt, Romeo must not live".  The Prince, on the other hand, seems to
punish Romeo as much for the assumption of the role of justicer as for
the actual act of murder.  At least legally, and at least in a largely
fictionalized Verona, revenge was not simply equivalent to justice.

Cheers,
Se

 

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