revenge

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revenge

a retaliatory or retributive social act. For French thinker Rene GIRARD the concept of revenge is central to the problem of violence. Focusing on the idea of the blood feud, he shows how the mechanics of vengeance are contained within the effects of MIMETIC DESIRE. After one actor commits a violent act, mimetic desire ensures that the second actor's response reflects the severity of the original action. As such, violence becomes a self-sustaining effect; a vicious circle Girard calls the skandalon or Satan. Girard's analysis of biblical scripture illustrates this critique of revenge. He argues against the vengeful Old Testament deity Yahweh, and the advice of ‘an eye for an eye’ and for the New Testament God of peace and forgiveness. For Girard, the importance of the New Testament God lay in the sacrificial offering of Christ. He argues that Christ represents the absolute scapegoat, the figure whose purity reminds the world of the evil nature of circular violence and revenge. See also ORDER/DISORDER
References in classic literature ?
But the great San Philip having received the lower tier of the Revenge, discharged with cross-bar shot, shifted herself with all diligence from her sides, utterly misliking her first entertainment.
Now it came close to the Revenge and the Captain asked Sir Richard what he should do, and "Sir Richard bid him save himself, and leave him to his fortune.
But in the morning bearing with the Revenge, she was hunted like a hare amongst many ravenous hounds, but escaped.
for I am the only culprit, Edmond, and if you owe revenge to any one, it is to me, who had not fortitude to bear your absence and my solitude.
That is what I heard on leaving my prison fourteen years after I had entered it; and that is why, on account of the living Mercedes and my deceased father, I have sworn to revenge myself on Fernand, and -- I have revenged myself.
Mercedes, I must revenge myself, for I suffered fourteen years, -- fourteen years I wept, I cursed; now I tell you, Mercedes, I must revenge myself.
The men in blue were intent with the despair of their circum- stances and they seized upon the revenge to be had at close range.
No, De Vac would find other means of satisfying his wounded pride, he would revel in revenge against this man for whom he felt no loyalty.
For the first time the feelings of revenge and hatred filled my bosom, and I did not strive to control them, but allowing myself to be borne away by the stream, I bent my mind towards injury and death.
The nearer I approached to your habitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart.
And as he staggered on there burned within him beside his newborn love another great passion--the passion of hate urging him on to the consummation of revenge.
It was revenge which kept him going--that and a feeling that in his suffering he was partially expiating the great wrong he had done the girl he loved--for hope of saving her from the fate into which he had trapped her had never existed.