Revenge In Euripides 'Revenger'

1607 Words7 Pages

Revenge is justifiable when one’s retaliatory act is equal in magnitude to the offense that one suffered. The offense and the act of revenge must be proportionate, like the eye for an eye in Hammurabi’s Code. The offense must also be a heinous act that causes mental or physical trauma, in order to warrant revenge. When one takes revenge on a wrongdoer, one is serving justice to the offender and punishing the offender. The punishment must suit the crime. Hecuba by Euripides provides an example of justified revenge. In On Anger, Sophocles details an act of revenge that is complicated by power dynamics. Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy illustrates the catastrophic consequences of revenge tainted by lust and greed. Euripides’ Hecuba details the revenge that Hecuba, the former queen of Troy, exacts on her son’s murderer. During the Trojan War, her son, Polydorus was sent to …show more content…

Seneca praises this restraint, declaring that Prexaspes was “right to choke back his words” (91). Prexaspes critique of the King’s fondness for wine is a contributing cause of his son’s murder, as it is Prexaspes’ remark that sparks the King’s ire. Perhaps Prexaspes holds himself responsible for his son’s death, and this is one of the reasons he refrains from speaking out. Flattering King Cambyses, Prexaspes behaves “more wisely…than he had when he gave advice on moderation in wine-bibbing to a man who was better employed drinking wine than blood” (Seneca, 91). Though Cambyses’ is undoubtedly cruel, Prexaspes’ words are indirectly the trigger for the murder. Seneca seems to imply that one should not seek revenge in response to injuries that one is partially responsible for. If one’s actions inadvertently inflict suffering onto oneself, one should come to terms with his or her error rather than seeking

Open Document