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Essay on The Count of Monte Cristo: Revenge and Justice

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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 D...


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... always justice, and there is usually more emotion involved in the revenge and thus the revenge hurts more than the original crime hurt.
As seen through the documents and The Count of Monte Cristo, revenge is most often not the same as justice, but can take form in the idea of justice through the coined phrase “an eye for an eye.” Dumas’ excellent writing portrays the Count’s dealings with revenge, love, justice, and providence. He deals with each particular situation differently. Plato’s perfect and ideal revenge cannot be reached except through equal and fair punishment, as our idea of revenge and justice are just a shadow of the utopian revenge and justice. Revenge will most often never be the same as justice, as human nature and emotion get in the way of absolute justice.



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Alexandre Dumas, the bible, Hammurabi's code, Francis Bacon, Twelve Tables


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