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Why we can't get enough revenge.

People have been reading and writing stories of revenge for about as long as stories have existed. From tales of vengeful gods/goddesses, to The Count Of Monte Cristo, to Kill Bill, it seems like people through the ages really love their stories of revenge. The theme isn’t just found in writing, we see it pop up anywhere there is a story line: video games, comics, even songs. Are these forms of entertainment a way for us to vicariously feel like we’ve gotten back at our own enemies? Or do we simply delight in the dark side of these stories?

  • Interesting topic. I appreciate that you've even thought of this topic, because it may be something that should be looked at from a moral perspective. Like perhaps our love for revenge-stories reveals something wrong with humanity as it now stands. Or perhaps vice versa. Just a thought... – Dominic Sceski 8 years ago
  • I like this topic... lots to discuss here! You're right; it is a very timeless theme. I wonder, though, to what degree this revenge theme reflects real life (yet another facet to explore!). Not everyone is revenge-seeking - perhaps they do get their satisfaction through fiction - but there are the occasional news stories, personal stories, or historical events that tell us that people do have a vengeful side that occasionally surfaces in very real ways. – Laura Jones 8 years ago
  • I think revenge is a universal desire. Not necessarily in a dark way, but most people have been the subject of an unpleasant experience, and the feeling to get back at someone is natural. – TheoParry 8 years ago
  • It is an emotional motive, and therefore is very helpful for writers when explaining a characters extreme actions. Good for drama too! – Candice Evenson 8 years ago
  • I feel like people sometimes enjoy a sense of revenge or cruelty because it feels good or nice. After if they carry out the revenge or not is when we feel satisfied or hateful. – Wanderlust 8 years ago
  • It may be helpful to look towards academia surrounding Melodrama as a form (think cape and sword, grand sweeping sentiment, spectacle) and how it has really taken over the way we tell stories. – Tiffany 8 years ago
  • This is a really good topic. What if one were to look at it in light of Christianity, for example? There, the two concepts of justice and forgiveness seem to be at a premium, but it is not always easy to see how they relate. I guess the question you might come up against is the relationship of feelings aroused by literature versus feelings aroused by life. For example, if one believes in NOT getting revenge, will revenge literature thwart this commitment? Or will revenge literature instead help to put the dark feelings aside? Etc. – JWHorton 8 years ago

Titus Andronicus and Revenge

This topic would need to illustrate how revenge is a thematic pattern in Titus Andronicus. In what ways do we see revenge continue on with its role? What literary devices help people understand that revenge is the concept/theme in the play? The topic can focus on Titus and Tamora being revengeful towards each other, and then give examples as to how revenge just turns into a pattern with no positive outcome.

  • This is fascinating, especially because although Titus was one of Shakespeare's earliest works, it was one of his most popular with Elizabethan audiences, and continues to be performed a lot today at every level of theatre. It'd be interesting to explore the changes Shakespeare made to the original Roman Revenge play that Titus is based off of, and other ancient intellectual lore certain characters are based off of. For example, Lavinia's rape mirrors that of Philomela, but the brothers take Lavinia's torture a step further than Philomela's and cut off her hands as well as her tongue, so she can't sew a tapestry as Philomela did. Also take a look at the ambiguity in the ending-- is the boy a sign of hope? a sign that the cycle will continue?--Sarah Noschese – SarahCarr 9 years ago