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Vengeance

674. Vengeance

  1. Absalom kills half-brother, Amnon, for raping sister, Tamar. [O. T.: II Samuel 13:2829]
  2. Acamas Aeneass companion; kills Promachus to avenge brothers murder. [Gk. Lit.: Iliad ]
  3. Acarnan and Amphoterus enabled by Zeus to grow to manhood in single day to avenge fathers murder. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmer-man, 2]
  4. Achilles avenges Patrocluss death by brutally killing Hector. [Gk. Lit.: Iliad ]
  5. Agag mutilated by Samuel to requite Israelite slaughter. [O.T.: I Samuel 15:33]
  6. Ahab, Captain seeks revenge on whale. [Am. Lit.: Moby Dick ]
  7. Alastor epithet applied to Zeus and others as avenger. [Gk. Myth.: NCE, 49]
  8. Alfio takes vengeance on Turiddu for adultery with his wife. [Ital. Opera: Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana, Westerman, 338339]
  9. Atreus cuckolded by brother, serves him his sons for dinner. [Rom. Lit.: Thyestes, Brewer Dictionary, 1081]
  10. Balfour, Ebenezer takes vengeance on David, whose father stole Ebenezers woman. [Brit. Lit.: Kidnapped ]
  11. Barabas his house and riches seized by the governor, murders the governors son and others, and betrays the city to the Turks. [Br. Drama: Marlowe The Jew of Malta in Bella, 521]
  12. Calvo, Baldassare Titos aged benefactor, robbed and betrayed by Tito, eventually denounces and strangles him. [Br. Lit.: George Eliot Romola ]
  13. Chillingworth, Roger tortures Dimmesdale for adultery. [Am. Lit.: The Scarlet Letter ]
  14. Colomba will not rest until fathers murder is avenged. [Fr. Lit.: Colomba ]
  15. Coppelius destroys Olympia because of bad check. [Fr. Opera: Offenbach, Tales of Hoffmann, Westerman, 275]
  16. Cousin Bette deprived of her lover by Baron Hulot, she eventually manages to ruin the family. [Fr. Lit.: Balzac Cousin Bette in Magill I, 166]
  17. cry of blood innocent victims blood calls for justice. [O.T.: Genesis 4:10; Br. Lit.: Richard II ]
  18. Dantès, Edmond uses his wealth to punish those who betrayed him. [Fr. Lit.: Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo ]
  19. Dirae avenging goddesses or Furies. [Rom. Myth.: LLEI, l: 326]
  20. Don Carlos takes vengeance upon Alvaro, alleged murderer of his father. [Ital. Opera: Verdi, La Forza del Destino, Wester-man, 316317]
  21. Electra wreaks vengeance on her fathers murderers. [Gk. Lit.: Electra ]
  22. Epigoni, the sons of the chiefs killed in the siege of Thebes avenge their fathers deaths by razing the city. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 318]
  23. eye for an eye Mosess lex talionis. [O.T.: Exodus 21:2325; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21]
  24. Falke, Dr. avenges his public humiliation by Eisenstein. [Aust. Operetta: J. Strauss, Die Fledermaus, Westerman, 278]
  25. Furies horrible avengers of crimes. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 381]
  26. golden cockerel, the warns the king whenever enemies approach, but kills him when he breaks his promise of a reward. [Russ. Ballet: Coq dOr in Goode, 78]
  27. Hamlet spurred on by his fathers ghost, avenges murder of his father. [Br. Lit.: Hamlet ]
  28. Hecuba kills Polymestors children and blinds him for his treacherous murder of her son Polydorus. [Gk. Drama: Euripides Hecuba in Benét, 450]
  29. Herodias spitefully effects decapitation of John the Baptist. [N.T.: Mark 6:1926]
  30. Hiawatha adventurous avenger of his fathers wickedness to his mother. [Am. Lit.: Longfellow The Song of Hiawatha in Magill I, 905]
  31. Hieronimo stages a play that gives him the opportunity to kill his sons murderers. [Br. Drama: The Spanish Tragedy in Magill II, 990]
  32. Hope, Jefferson to avenge the murder of his sweetheart by two Mormons, trails them from Utah to London and kills both. [Br. Lit.: Doyle A Study in Scarlet in Sherlock Holmes ]
  33. Joab kills Abner, murderer of his brother. [O.T.: II Samuel 3:27]
  34. Kentucky Tragedy noted tale of retribution, inspired many works. [Am. Hist.: Benét, 544]
  35. Lisbeth (Cousin Bette ) swears to get back at the Hulots. [Fr. Lit.: Cousin Bette, Magill I, 166168]
  36. Malta, The Jew of Christian-hating merchants betrayal of Malta. [Br. Lit.: The Jew of Malta ]
  37. Medea uses poisoned nightgown to kill Jasons new wife. [Fr. Opera: Cherubini, Medea, Westerman, 81]
  38. Montresor redresses insult by entombing insulter in catacomb niche. [Am. Lit.: Poe The Cask of Amontillado]
  39. Nemesis daughter of Night, brought retribution upon haughty. [Gk. Myth.: Hall, 221]
  40. Orestes killed his mother and her lover for having murdered his father. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 741]
  41. Pied Piper, the refused his promised reward for ridding Hamelin of rats, he lures the children away. [Ger. Legend: Benét, 787]
  42. Rigoletto wreaks vengeance on daughter-seducing Duke of Mantua. [Ital. Opera: Verdi, Rigoletto, Westerman, 300]
  43. Samson brings down the temple of the Philistines to avenge their blinding of him and dies in the process. [O.T.: Judges 16:28-30]
  44. Sextus kills Ptolemy for the murder of Pompey. [Br. Opera: Julius Caesar in Egypt, Westerman, 5253]
  45. Tamora plots to avenge son by murdering the Andronicus family. [Br. Lit.: Titus Andronicus ]
  46. Titus Andronicus exacts revenge for crimes against his family. [Br. Lit.: Titus Andronicus ]
  47. Todd, Sweeney barber returns to England; takes revenge for false conviction by slitting throats of customers. [Br. Folklore: Misc; Br. Lit.: Sweeney Todd ; Am. Musical Theater: Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, in Facts (1979), 292.]
  48. trefoil traditional symbol of vengeance. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 178]
  49. Zachanassian, Claire a multi-millionairess, she bribes the villagers to execute the man who was responsible for her shame. [Swiss Drama: Duerrenmatt The Visit in Benét, 1063]

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revenge

re·venge / riˈvenj/ • n. the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands: other spurned wives have taken public revenge on their husbands. ∎  the desire to inflict such retribution: it was difficult not to be overwhelmed with feelings of hate and revenge. ∎  (in sports) the defeat of a person or team by whom one was beaten in a previous encounter: the Yankees wanted to get their revenge for losing to the Dodgers in the 1955 Series. • v. (revenge oneself or be revenged) chiefly archaic poetic/lit. inflict hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to oneself: I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you. ∎  [tr.] inflict such retribution on behalf of (someone else): it's a pity he chose that way to revenge his sister. ∎  inflict retribution for (a wrong or injury done to oneself or another): her brother was slain, and she revenged his death. DERIVATIVES: re·veng·er n. ( poetic/lit. ).

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revenge

revenge revenge is a dish that can be eaten cold proverbial saying, late 19th century, meaning that vengeance need not be exacted immediately. The same idea is found in Thomas Shelton' translation of Cervantes' Don Quixote (1620), ‘Revenge is not good in cold blood.’
revenge is sweet proverbial saying, mid 16th century. A similar idea is found earlier in Greek, in Homer' Iliad, ‘anger…that far sweeter than trickling honey wells up like smoke in the breasts of men.’
revenge tragedy a style of drama, popular in England during the late 16th and 17th centuries, in which the basic plot was a quest for vengeance and which typically featured scenes of carnage and mutilation, real or feigned insanity, and the appearance of ghosts. Examples of the genre include Thomas Kyd' The Spanish Tragedy (1592) and John Webster' The Duchess Of Malfi (1623).

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vengeance

venge·ance / ˈvenjəns/ • n. punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong. PHRASES: with a vengeance used to emphasize the degree to which something occurs or is true: her headache was back with a vengeance.

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revenge

revenge refl. (XIV), pass. (XV) take vengeance; exact retribution for XV. In earliest use Sc. — OF. revenger, var. of revencher (mod. revancher):- Late L. revindicāre, f. RE- + L. vindicāre VENGE.
Hence sb. XVI.

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vengeance

vengeance act of avenging oneself or another. XIII. — (O)F., f. venger (whence arch. venge XIII):- L. vindicāre VINDICATE; see -ANCE.
Hence vengeful XVI. f. venge.

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revenge

revengeFalange, flange •avenge, henge, revenge, Stonehenge •arrange, change, counterchange, estrange, exchange, grange, interchange, Lagrange, mange, part-exchange, range, short-change, strange •binge, cringe, fringe, hinge, impinge, singe, springe, swinge, syringe, tinge, twinge, whinge •challenge • orange • scavenge •lozenge • blancmange •lounge, scrounge •blunge, expunge, grunge, gunge, lunge, plunge, scunge, sponge

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vengeance

vengeancebanns, glans, Prestonpans, sans •Octans •Benz, cleanse, Fens, gens, lens •Homo sapiens • impatiens • nolens volens • delirium tremens • Serpens •vas deferens • Cairns • Keynes •Jeans, means, Queens, smithereens •Owens • Robbins • Rubens • gubbins •Hitchens • O'Higgins •Huggins, juggins, muggins •imagines • Jenkins • Eakins • Dickens •Wilkins • Hopkins •Dawkins, Hawkins •Collins • Gobelins • widdershins •matins • Martens • Athens • avens •Heinz • confines • Apenninesbonze, bronze, Johns, mod cons, Mons, St John's •Downs, grounds, hash-browns, Townes •Jones, nones •lazybones • sawbones • fivestones •New Orleans, Orléans •Lions, Lyons •Gibbons • St Albans • Siddons •shenanigans • Huygens • vengeance •goujons • St Helens • Hollands •Newlands • Brooklands • Netherlands •Siemens • Symons • commons •summons • Lorenz • Parsons •Goossens •Lamentations, United Nations •Colossians • Sextans • Buttons •Evans • Stevens • Ovens • Onions •Lutyens •Cousins, Cozens •Burns

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Vengeance

VENGEANCE

Vengeance is here understood as punishment inflicted upon a person in retribution for an evil act that is injurious in some way to others. It is not to be confused with the violence employed against an unjust aggressor, which always supposes that the one defending himself is under present attack, and when this has ceased, further violence becomes unjustifiable on grounds of self-defense. The social order, however, requires the punishment of wrongdoers even after they have desisted from their aggression. Ultimate and perfect vengeance is exclusively the prerogative of God (Rom 12.19); only He can know perfectly what recompense is due to a man. An imperfect vengeance, however, must sometimes be taken upon those whose behavior is a threat to the common welfare. In this matter public authority, which is derived from God's own authority, "is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him who does evil" (Rom 13.4). For those in a position of authority the infliction of penalties upon violators of the law is therefore a strict duty in justice. Under ordinary circumstances private individuals are not obliged to take a personal part in securing the punishment of the guilty. Indeed, where personal injuries are concerned the Christian is counseled to pardon wrongs without seeking vengeance (Rom 12.1820), although in some cases personal injuries are grievously dishonoring to God, or are damaging to the Church or to the civil community; in these circumstances an individual can be under strict obligation to take action against an offender.

Nevertheless, since the punishment of the wicked is a social good, the desire, even on the part of private individuals, that it should be effectively accomplished, whether in general or in particular, is reasonable and virtuous, provided that it stems from a concern for justice and not from malice, spite, an unwillingness to forgive, or the like. This desire, however, can easily get out of hand and become sinful by its excess or by the corruptness of its motives, and men are more familiar with its sinful exaggeration than its moderate exemplification, as is suggested by the unpleasant overtones conveyed by the terms "vengeance" and "revenge." Vindicative justice, or vengeance (understood as a virtue) controls this desire and keeps it within legitimate bounds.

To be licit vengeance must be exercised under certain conditions. (1) The punishment of wrongdoers must be done by those vested with the proper authority. (2) It should be kept within the limits of justice, and should not be allowed to degenerate into cruelty by an excess of severity or to endanger the general welfare by its softness. Since the purpose of punishment is to protect the social order, the forms it takes should be such as serve effectively to restore injured persons to the enjoyment of their rights, to correct the delinquent and to discourage others who might be inclined to similar offenses. (3) It should aim at the putting down of wickedness, not at the injury or ruin of the sinner, toward whom charity obliges the Christian to retain an attitude of sincere benevolence.

See Also: punishment; sanction; clemency.

Bibliography: thomas aquinas, Summa theologiae 2a2ae, 108. a. michel, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed., a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350) 15.2:261323.

[p. k. meagher]

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Vengeance

VENGEANCE

VENGEANCE (Heb. nekamah, nekimah), inflicting punishment on another in return for an offense or injury, or the withholding of benefits and kindness from another for the same reason. The Bible distinguishes between vengeance that is proper and vengeance that is sinful. Vengeance is proper for man only in the restricted sense of dispensing justice for a legally punishable crime or sin, meted out in the prescribed manner. The one who inflicts the punishment is thus acting as an instrument of the court of law, or in rare cases, of God's revealed will, but never merely to satisfy personal animosity. Examples are "When a man strikes his slave… and he dies there and then, he must be avenged" (Ex. 21:20) and "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Avenge the Israelite people on the Midianites'" (Num. 31:1–2). Similarly, vengeance is appropriate when it is directed in a legally just war against the enemies of the entire people of Israel, who are at the same time considered enemies of God: "To execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the peoples" (Ps. 149:7). Vengeance is a divine prerogative, as the following verses indicate: "For He will avenge the blood of His servants, wreak vengeance on His foes" (Deut. 32:43); "I will bring a sword against you to wreak vengeance for the covenant" (Lev. 26:25); and "O Lord God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth" (Ps. 94:1). While the rabbis considered the imitation of God's ways, such as mercy, forgiveness, and so on, to be the ethical ideal for man (see, e.g., Sot. 14a; Sif. Deut. 49; Shab. 133b), they did not fail to point out that certain activities attributed by the Bible to God, such as vengeance, should not be imitated, the reason being that "with a human being wrath controls him, but the Holy One blessed He controls His wrath, as it is said, 'The Lord avengeth and is full of wrath'" [the Hebrew is ba'al ḥemah, literally 'master of wrath'; Nah. 1:2] (Gen. R. 49:8).

Human vengeance as the expression of personal animosity is explicitly prohibited in the Bible in the verse, "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord" (Lev. 19:18). The rabbis offer a precise definition of this passage: "What is vengeance and what is bearing a grudge? If one said to his fellow: 'Lend me your sickle,' and he replied 'No,' and tomorrow the second comes to the first and says: 'Lend me your ax,' and he replies: 'I will not lend it to you just as you would not lend me your sickle' – that is vengeance. And what is bearing a grudge'? If one says to his fellow: 'Lend me your ax,' he replies 'No,' and on the morrow the second asks: 'Lend me your garment,' and he answers: 'Here it is, I am not like you who would not lend me what I asked for' – that is bearing a grudge" (Yoma 23a; Maim. Yad, De'ot 7:7, 9; Sefer ha-Ḥinnukh, nos. 247, 248). Various reasons have been offered by Jewish thinkers for the injunction against vengeance, besides the obvious one that it increases hatred and strife among men. One consideration is that a man and his neighbor are really one organic unit, so that one retaliating against the other is analogous to the situation in which one hand slicing meat with a knife slips and cuts the second hand: "would the second hand retaliate by cutting the first?" (tj, Ned. 9:4, 41c). Or, from another aspect, one ought always to consider the harm that befalls him as ultimately deriving from God as punishment for sin, the human perpetrator of the injury being merely an unwitting instrument of divine providence, so that, actually, repentance, rather than vengeance, is called for (Sefer ha-Ḥinnukh, no. 247). Maimonides states that "one should rather practice forbearance in all mundane matters, for the intelligent realize that these are vain things and not worth taking vengeance for" (Maim. Yad, De'ot 7:7).

There is, according to the Talmud, one notable exception to the injunction against vengeance. "Any talmid ḥakham (pious Torah scholar) who does not avenge himself and retains anger like a serpent, is no real talmid ḥakham" (Yoma 22b–23a), the reason being that offense against him entails a slur against the Torah itself. This dispensation granted the talmid ḥakham is, however, highly qualified by the rabbis. It is limited to cases where the scholar has suffered personal, rather than monetary, injury; the scholar may not take overt action, but may merely withhold interference if another takes up his cause; the dispensation is terminated if the offender seeks forgiveness (Yoma, ibid. and Rashi ibid.). Furthermore, according to Maimonides (Yad, Talmud Torah 7:13), the special permission granted the scholar applies only to instances where he was publicly reviled, thus involving a gross desecration of the honor of Torah; and finally, the purpose for allowing vengeance in such a case is that it causes the offender to recant, after which he must be forgiven.

In all other instances where one has been wronged, vengeance in all its forms is forbidden. The ideal, according to the Talmud, is to be of those, "who are insulted but do not retaliate with insult, who hear themselves put to shame without replying" (Yoma, ibid.). Concerning such people, the rabbis declare, "he who forbears to retaliate will find forbearance [from God] for all his failings" (Yoma, ibid.; Shab. 88b; rh 17a.)

bibliography:

A. Cohen, Everyman's Talmud (19492), 210–30; Eisenstein, Yisrael, 7 (1951), 110–1.

[Joshua H. Shmidman]

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