What does "Awrong is underdressed when retribution overtakes its redresser."?

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wshoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Redress means to make amends or to set something right and  retribution is payback or revenge. Revenge and redressment are essentially opposites of each other. A person who seeks to redress an unjust act is trying to make the situation right. Being overcome with feeling the need for revenge would make it impossible to rectify the wrong.  Try reading the quote this way:  A wrong is not made right when revenge overtakes the person who wants to make the situation right.  It is similar to the old saying that two wrongs don't make a right.  The quote suggests that a person who has been wronged may naturally experience conflicting emotions, but if the goal is to correct the situation, then it is imperative to control the desire for revenge. 

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The Cask of Amontillado

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