Vengeance Theme in Shakespeare

Vengeance Theme Shakespeare

"Lovely is revenge-especially to women" (Barlett, 1980, pg 460). Vengeance is not only a theme created by authors; it sometimes appears throughout the world everyday. Vengeance is repeated endlessly throughout history and most people face vengeance sooner or later in their life. Vengeance is also a natural part of the human character. Furthermore, women appear to be more susceptible to jealousy than men, which then brings about vengeance.

Therefore, vengeance is a general theme which many authors bring in in their works. Sometimes, even when their works are translated to different languages; their theme can be communicated to the audience or readers surrounding the world effectively. Vengeance also makes a great change in individuals life. It may bring sadness or conflicts, sometimes even damage or death. Because of this, vengeance is an imperfection in the individual character and it could cause serious devastation.

The theme of two tragic works, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, and King Lear by William Shakespeare, has a solid focus on vengeance. Despite the fact that Arthur Miller and William Shakespeare were delivered in different intervals, their works portray the theme of vengeance in a similar way. By comparing both of these dramas via an examination of the sources of vengeance, the results of vengeance and the irony of vengeance, it becomes evident the works share a widespread theme that will transcend all time.

To get started with, the common theme of vengeance in The Crucible and King Lear can be tightly compared through a thorough examination of the causes of vengeance in both dramas. WITHIN THE Crucible, lots of the villagers show the ugliest part of mankind. Although the Puritans are well- known because of their strict religious morality, various neighbours falsely accuse others because of long kept resentments. In Work II, Miller writes, "Long-held hatred of neighbours could now be openly portrayed, and vengeance used, despite the Bible's charitable injunctions. . . one could cry witch against one's neighbour and feel flawlessly justified in the great buy" (Miller, 1953, pg 7-8).

For example, Mr. and Mrs. Putnam blame Rebecca Nurse for the fatality of the seven infants. The Putnams are people who like to pressure others to are affected along with them for their own unhappiness. Mrs. Putnam has given delivery to seven newborns and all of them died very soon after they were born (Miller, 1953, pg15). Mrs. Putnam and her partner feel angry as a result of suffering they have endured. Therefore, they need others to experience them and they blame Rebecca Nurse for the fatality because of their seven newborns.

They eventually accuse Rebecca of witchcraft and she actually is condemned to fatality. Mr. Giles Corey also accuses Mr. Putnam of earning accusations against his neighbours to be able to grab their land (Miller, 1953, pg 96). When a person is accused of witchcraft, their land will be confiscated and auctioned off. Besides, Mr. Putnam can be an embittered and greedy man. He's jealous of his neighbours because of all of the land and he wants to possess it. Hence, he accocunts for a bogus accusation of witchcraft against his enemies.

Abigail Williams is the antagonist in The Crucible who results in the main styles in the play. She actually is a whore who would like to kill John and Elizabeth Proctor's happy family. She has an affair with Proctor and she desires to have Elizabeth's put in place Proctor's life. She attempts to use "witchcraft" to get rid of Elizabeth, so she can be with Proctor (Miller, 1953, pg 19). All of the vengeful ideas which come from Abigail's head come about therefore of her agonizing childhood.

The weightiness of the extramarital relationship with Proctor and Abigail is the foundation of the tragedy in the play (Belk, 2002, pg 2). Abigail regards the immoral love with Proctor as the most important part of her life. She's never experienced the pleasure of love, even from her parents or any other family members. Her parents were killed before her and Reverend Parris, her uncle, does not care a great deal about her (Woolway, 1998, pg 2). Proctor is the first person she truly loves. Thus, she will pay any price to shoot for Proctor to be with her.

In Shakespeare's Ruler Lear, people also use vengeance for getting electricity and position. Edmund is the unlawful boy of Gloucester. Throughout his life, he's treated unfairly because of his position as a bastard. He feels he does not have the same standard of living as his daddy and brother. As a result, he plans to adopt revenge and get back what he feels should participate in him (I, ii, 16). He believes he should not abase himself as a bastard and should not suffer because of the guilt of his daddy.

In a soliloquy in Take action I, Landscape 2, Edmund is lamenting his status as a bastard when he shouts out, "Now, gods, operate for bastards" (I, ii, 20)! This quotation shows his determination to take revenge on his father and brother. However, in reality, Edmund really cares and seems shame in underneath of his heart about being a bastard. Usually the main one who says he will not care would be the one who cares the most. The shame and sense of inferiority bring up the thought of vengeance in Edmund's mind.

Regan and Goneril are Lear's daughters; however Lear favours his youngest princess, Cordelia the most. Regan and Goneril are extremely greedy and desire ability, money and land. The love from the family is not that important for them. Because of this, both of these princesses seek revenge against their daddy and sister. At exactly the same time, Lear banishes Cordelia from his kingdom because he considers she will not love him just as much as the other daughters do (Gluilfoyle, 1990, pg. 9).

Hence, it gives the gluttonous sisters a good chance to take up retaliation upon the muddled Lear and innocent Cordelia. At the start, Regan and Goneril both help one another, yet they are in odds with each other in their hearts because there is conflict the effect of a desire for electricity and there is nothing more important than vitality and land on their behalf. Because they are carefully cooperating, they both know each other well and their distrust towards one another causes the vengeance and chances between your two sisters. Also, both sisters contend with each other for Edmund's love.

Furthermore, the theme of vengeance can be compared in these two typical dramas by looking at the consequences of vengeance. Even if it's an unreasonable settlement in the end of this Crucible; the innocent people remain willing to sacrifice themselves for the reality. Rebecca Nurse is a respectful Christian in Salem and she still keeps her virtuous Religious beliefs and personality when she actually is falsely accused and put to loss of life. Although a false confession could save her life, she will not forsake the term of God. Proctor also offers his goodness back his soul by the end of the play and he understands that he can not surrender to Abigail and her vengeance toward his partner (Miller, 1953, pg 145). For innocent visitors to sacrifice for the revenge of Abigail this can be a tragedy.

Even although judges know that Proctor is innocent of witchcraft, they still have to hang him if he won't give a false confession. On the other hand, the result by the end is incredibly different than what Abigail planned and she's to vanish by the end. Abigail expects Elizabeth will be hanged and she can be with Proctor (Miller, 1953, pg 19). However, the results crosses the purpose of the revengeful young lady. Not merely is she not with Proctor, she's to vanish from her city to an unfamiliar spot to start her new life. After she vanishes, she's to live incognito to stay away from the trial. She is also an indirect murderer of her fan, John Proctor. She has to transport the guilt of killing her fan and the other innocent people throughout her complete lifetime. All of these seem to be to be retributions for her vengeance.

There are similarities between the outcomes of vengeance within the Crucible and King Lear. The type and innocent people in Ruler Lear also perish as a result of theme of vengeance. Cordelia will not hold any vengeance and would like to rescue her dad. However, she actually is captured with Lear and both of these die in jail (Guilfoyle, 1990, pg 8). Cordelia is the one who truly enjoys Lear the most. She reveals her true love to her dad by defying the energy of her sisters and comes home to save Lear. By the end she also sacrifices for the love of her daddy and the vengeance originated by her two sisters.

Moreover, Gloucester is a dedicated nobleman who also blueprints to rescue Lear. However, his plan fails and he is wickedly blinded by Regan and Cornwall and is also proved to wander the countryside (III, vii, 4-5). He suffers because of his loyalty to Lear. Regan not only resists his action, she cruelly blinds him and leaves him alones to undergo out in the countryside. His fate is tragic and one he does not deserve. Vengeance is the key cause that the type, innocent and dedicated people die for. Both of the plays also bring out a message that people who carry vengeance will come out with a negative stopping. Regan and Goneril both expire for the partnership with Edmund and the desire for power. For certain, their plan fails at the same time. Edmund wants to adopt revenge on Gloucester and Edgar, his brother, but he is wiped out by Edgar. The truth is totally complete opposite from what Edmund expects.

Finally, the irony of vengeance may also be contrasted in these two plays. In The Crucible, the innocent and moral people pass away for vengeance and the play ends in catastrophe (Hayes, 1953, pg 498). Even though Reverend Hale attempts to save the lives of the innocent people, the general public pressure makes his recovery attempt fail. Although judges are respectful and powerful in the city, also, they are helpless before the public. As the hysteria grows uncontrollable, the judges cannot declare they have made a mistake (Miller, 1953, pg 127). This is actually the biggest irony in the theme of the play.

Some of the condemned people sacrifice themselves to be honest while some falsely confess to save their lives. Some of the victims have no idea the truth even before last minutes. They may be buried with incorrect accusations and their virtuous spirits. Also, Abigail indirectly murdering her lover is an impressive irony in the play. It is so sad a girl who would give up anything on her behalf enthusiast, murders her lover circuitously. Everything she does indeed is to get Proctor's love. She thinks she will achieve success and you will be with Proctor permanently. However her dream will never become a reality. Nevertheless, this is a wretched irony to her and this wicked, selfish, mad girl gains a lttle bit of sympathy from the audience.

In addition, the lays used to hide the vengeance in King Lear are also ironic and serve to foreshadow the approaching tragedy. Lear must tolerate part of the responsibility for Cordelia's fatality when he asks his daughters to say how much they love him. This request provides a good chance for his other two daughters for taking revenge on him and Cordelia. Moreover, a lot more he favours Cordelia, a lot more Regan and Goneril hate him and Cordelia. This leads Cordelia to be the mark of the greedy sisters' criticism. On the other hand, it is shocking that Lear believes Regan and Goneril love him more than Cordelia will (IV, iv, 27-28).

Also, the fraud of Regan and Goneril is a superb irony in the play. They don't love their daddy very much, yet they hate him as he just favours their more youthful sister. Mistrusting individuals who bring vengeance is also an efficient irony portrayed to the audience. Gloucester trusts his illegitimate, deceitful boy, Edmund, thinking that Edgar will not love him and it is planning to kill him. Nonetheless, the simple truth is Edmund wants to use revenge on him and the innocent Edgar.

This fraud by Edmund is part of his story. It is unforeseen that Gloucester is really as muddled as Lear and is also blind to the truth. He also offers to participate of the responsibility for the cause of Edmund's vengeance (Guilfoyle, 1990, pg 3). What's more, both Lear and Gloucester are blind to the reality and make a gross mistake when they trust their disloyal children over their kind and caring children.

Through contrasting the complexities, results and irony of vengeance, the similarities and differences of just how that Miller and Shakespeare exhibit the theme of vengeance is clearly shown. Both authors portray vengeance as an tremendous destruction in real human life. Vengeance is never positive to humans.

Vengeance in both Crucible and Ruler Lear cause fatality and sadness. A lot of the protagonists have to carry a regretful center and undergo this pain for the rest of their lives. People should hold their virtuous values and remember God's words in their brain in order to get over the temptations and the trials in their daily lives. People should combat for what they need in a just and honourable way. Then their conscience will be clear when they enjoy success. Vengeance for sure never leads to a happy closing which is the world's most damaging weapon. Even though everyone knows the disadvantages of vengeance, why do they still look for vengeance?


1. Miller, A. (1953). The Crucible. NY: Viking Penguin Group

2. Shakespeare, W. (1990). Ruler Lear. Toronto: Harcourt Canada

3. Woolway, J. (1998). Dilemma for Students. New York: Gale

4. Guilfoyle, C. (1990). Shakespeare's Play within Play. Michigan: European Michigan University Medieval Institude Publications

5. Hayes, R. (1953 February). Commonwealth 57: Hysteria and Ideology in The Crucible. 498

6. Barlett, J. (1980). Barlett's Familiar Quotations. Boston: Little, Dark brown and Company

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