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Why do people want revenge? How do they feel?What do they do?

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nikkibo0x3 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 31, 2009 at 2:13 PM via web

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Why do people want revenge? How do they feel?

What do they do?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM (Answer #2)

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Since your question doesn't mention any specific people, let's consider some literary characters. In The Scarlet Letter, Chillingworth seeks revenge because Dimmesdale has fathered a child with Hester, whom Chillingworth had married in England years before. Chillingworth feels angry and betrayed. He secretly tortures Dimmesdale and enjoys watching his suffering.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Bob Ewell seeks revenge because Atticus has defended Tom Robinson, questioning Bob and his daughter Mayella in court. Atticus' defense of Tom has been very strong and effective. Both Ewells have been put on public display as liars. Ewell feels rage and humiliation. He spits in Atticus' face and later attacks his children.

In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macduff seeks revenge because Macbeth has slaughtered his entire household, including his wife and innocent children. Macduff agonizes imagining what his family must have endured. He is completely heartbroken and filled with fury. He joins forces with Macbeth's enemies, attacks Macbeth's castle, and beheads him in the play's conclusion.

The Cask of Amontillado features an especially diabolical kind of revenge. Montresor obsesses that Fortunato has insulted him. He buries Fortunato alive in an unusual way.

Each of these characters feels something important has been taken away from him and seeks "justice" in his own way.

 

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jlcannad | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted February 2, 2009 at 8:45 AM (Answer #3)

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One of my favorite characters out for revenge is Iago from Othello.  He believes that Othello had humiliated him as a man by sleeping with his wife.  Maybe if everyone hated Othello, Iago could live with that, but what really burns him is that Othello is more respected and then promoted over him.  His revenge is fueled by the belief that he deserves more than life has given him.  Since life has made him feel "little," he very much wants to make Othello feel even less important.  I think it's human nature for some people to want to make themselves feel "bigger" by proving other people are inferior to them.

Medea is another great piece of literature for revenge.  Medea, witch and wife of Jason, is discarded for a younger, prettier, and better connected wife.  Again, she feels like someone else has taken what is hers.  She feels like the universe and Jason have conspired to make her feel "little."  Her response is to make Jason so miserable that he becomes the lowest, most miserable creature on earth.  She poisons clothing and sends it to Jason's new bride and her own children, and they all die in terrible agony.  But by doing so, Medea has made Jason even more miserable than she is.  Instead of making herself feel better by actually raising herself up and doing something to make herself happy, she just pulls everyone else down so that she's happier than them by comparison.

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ponyboilover | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted February 2, 2009 at 4:20 PM (Answer #4)

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Why do people want revenge? How do they feel?

What do they do?

Revenge is about wanting to make the person you're out to get feel the pain that you feel-to let them know that this is how hurt you are and this is what it feels like.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted February 10, 2009 at 2:29 PM (Answer #5)

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Taking the theme of revenge from literature to cinema, there are a number of great flicks that really help audiences understand the nature of revenge and its motives:

Death Wish, Batman, The Punisher, Falling Down, Marked For Death, and many others all focus upon the subject of personal vendettas or vindictiveness. If you're in a hurry, or don't want to assume the responsibility of comprehending great literary works, these movies might be a good start.

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chloebert | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 10, 2009 at 2:53 PM (Answer #6)

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think about it in your point of veiw. why would you want to take revenge on someone? because they angered you. they pushed you to your limits. you couldnt take anymore. youre fed up. so you go to the extreames of revenge just to get back at that person who has made you feel so bad. you take it out on them just to make them feel better. thats how i would answer it...or start it.

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rshaffer | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted February 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM (Answer #7)

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People want revenge because "Revenge is sweet."  That expression holds a lot of truth when seeking revenge.  For most human beings, revenge feels good.  At the moment that one is seeking revenge, there is nothing "sweeter."  Nothing can make onefeel better than getting even with someone.  So, it is the feeling of satisfaction that people receive when performing the act of revenge. 

Unfortunately, revenge is most often a short term satisfaction.  It is a temporary fix because the problem usually still exists after the revenge occurs.  Often times, it makes things worse. 

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realist123 | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM (Answer #8)

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People want revenge because "Revenge is sweet."  That expression holds a lot of truth when seeking revenge.  For most human beings, revenge feels good.  At the moment that one is seeking revenge, there is nothing "sweeter."  Nothing can make onefeel better than getting even with someone.  So, it is the feeling of satisfaction that people receive when performing the act of revenge. 

Unfortunately, revenge is most often a short term satisfaction.  It is a temporary fix because the problem usually still exists after the revenge occurs.  Often times, it makes things worse. 

I agree with your points. 

One example I see most often concerns bullies. Bullies take advantage of the "weak" as they define their victims.

However, time can change dynamics quite considerably. These "victims" (most often specific to males) have the ability and use this "inner rage" to develope their bodies as their intent is to have an altercation with the bully as revenge. 

The male usually builds and works to allow them to accomplish their goal which is to "reverse roles/payback" for what occurred earlier in the victims life.

Satisfaction usually does occur - although their is feelings of guilt,regret periodically after an altercation. But when I ask the person who did get back at the other - 9 out of 10 times they are glad they did it although they lament if the bully would take responsibility for their previous actions the physical altercation would not have occurred.

 

 

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