From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Revenge or vengeance or retribution or vendetta consists primarily of retaliation against a person or group in response to a perceived wrongdoing. Although many aspects of revenge resemble or echo the concept of justice, revenge usually has a more injurious than harmonious goal. The vengeful wish consists of forcing the perceived wrongdoer to suffer the same pain that they inflicted in the first place.
Revenge in art and culture
Revenge has been a popular theme for art and culture throughout history. Examples from the classics include: The Oresteia, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Don Giovanni, The Cask of Amontillado, La Forza del Destino, Moby-Dick, Othello, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, and The Count of Monte Cristo. Revenge is also a prevalent theme in hardboiled fiction; e.g., Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett, The Hunter by Richard Stark, several works by Mickey Spillane.
Revenge is also a prominent theme in contemporary motion pictures; e.g., the film (based on the graphic novel) V for Vendetta and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007 film) are archetypal artistic portrayals of revenge.
Other movies deal with this concept in a more fantastic or futuristic setting, such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where Khan's hatred of Kirk and his desire for revenge would became so intense that Khan would lose everything, even his own life in his efforts for revenge. This intense desire to obtain revenge above all else can be witnessed in Khan's dialogue:
"He tasks me! He tasks me! And I shall have him. I'll chase him round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares malestrom and round perdition's flames before I give him up!"
This indicates the lengths that he is willing to go to obtain his goal.
- Revenge is a dish best served cold
- The revenge play, a form of tragedy, extremely popular in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.
- Rape / Revenge exploitation films