The Count Of Monte Cristo: Revenge And Justice

1194 words - 5 pages

Revenge is best served cold or so says the well-known expression. This idea of revenge that they seek is usually to restore a balance and take an “eye for an eye” as the bible says. Revenge, if by chance everyone were in Plato’s perfect utopia, would be in a perfect form, where justice and revenge would be one, and the coined phrase an “eye for an eye” would be taken literally. By taking an eye for and eye, and punishing those who did wrong equally as they did wrong, there is justice. However, this revenge sometimes goes to far and is consequently not justice. This notion of Revenge and justice is often in literature, one of the better-known being the novel The Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas. However, literature is not the only time that revenge and justice is discussed in. Works and Rules and real-life events that took place like the Bible, Hammurabi’s code, Twelve Tables, and others each have something different about the topic. More religious texts seem to forbid violence, while laws, such as the Hammurabi’s code, recommend revenge, but equal revenge. By judging from literature, it can be concluded that most authors have different opinions on the matter at hand, and revenge is sometimes justice, but usually not, and tends to lead to violence that was not intended.
Revenge can sometimes take the form of justice. According to Hammurabi’s code, or Document B, each crime shall receive and equal punishment. Document B clearly says, “If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out.” What justice can be clearer taking what was taken? Plato’s true utopia idea of Revenge would be an equal punishment inflicted upon the original sinner. This concept is also present in the Count of Monte Cristo. After Danglars deceives the leaders of France and frames Edmond Dantes, Dantes is put into prison for fourteen years. In return, Dantes exacts justice and revenge. He does so by entrapping Danglars in a “chalky stone grotto (Dumas 1218).” Edmond Dantes’ revenge on Danglars was not as bad as the original wrong in which Danglars first committed. By doing so, it was a compromise between the Bible, which says to forgive your neighbor who sins against you, and the laws of the ancient times, which say to exact precise justice and revenge. After entrapping him, he starved Danglars, and punished Danglars for his greatest sin, being his greed. The Count of Monte Cristo/ Edmond Dantes put Danglars in the same/ if not better conditions than he was in during the original sin. This is again, a compromise between the Bible’s teachings, and the laws of old. After such, he starves Danglars, as he himself was, but gave Danglars the opportunity to acquire food by giving up his wealth, an opportunity Edmond did not have. Already, Edmond Dantes/ the Count of Monte Cristo has shown that Justice and Revenge can be the same thing, even with compassion, completely against Francis Bacon’s teachings of Revenge and “savage justice (Document D).” The...

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