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Revenge vs. Vengeance: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sara Rehman || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 1, 2024
Revenge is a personal retaliation for a wrong, often mirroring the original harm, while vengeance is retribution, usually more severe and often considered as justice.

Key Differences

Revenge is an action taken in response to a perceived wrong, motivated by a desire to retaliate in a manner similar to the original offense. Vengeance, while similar, often carries a connotation of moral righteousness or justice, suggesting a higher cause or justification for the retributive action.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024
Revenge often involves a personal, emotional drive, where the individual seeks satisfaction by harming those who wronged them. Vengeance, on the other hand, can be more impersonal, focusing on the restoration of balance or order, possibly even carried out by someone not directly affected by the original wrong.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024
The act of revenge typically mirrors the original harm in scope and nature, aiming to make the perpetrator experience similar suffering. In contrast, vengeance may exceed the scale of the original offense, sometimes implemented as a form of exemplary punishment or deterrent.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024
In literature and culture, revenge is often portrayed as a flawed, destructive pursuit, leading to cycles of retaliation. Vengeance, while also potentially destructive, is sometimes depicted as more noble or justified, especially if it upholds societal or moral norms.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024
The pursuit of revenge can be driven by personal vendettas and may not always adhere to legal or ethical standards. Vengeance, although also potentially extralegal, is often framed within the context of achieving a greater sense of justice or righting a profound wrong.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Motivation

Personal grudge
Moral righteousness
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Emotion

Often driven by anger or hurt
Can be more calculated or principled
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

Proportionality

Mirrors the harm caused
Can be more severe or symbolic
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Justification

Personal satisfaction
Perceived justice or moral balance
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

Outcome

Usually personal closure
Aims for broader impact or deterrence
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024
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Revenge and Vengeance Definitions

Revenge

The action of harming someone in return for an injury.
In revenge, she sabotaged his presentation.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Vengeance

Inflicting harm in response to a wrong, often more severe.
His vengeance was swift, ensuring the corrupt official was exposed.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Revenge

Personal retaliation for an offense or wrong.
He took revenge on his bully by pranking him back.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Vengeance

Retribution with a sense of justice or moral right.
She sought vengeance for her family's wrongful treatment.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Revenge

A response aiming to equalize the original offense.
His revenge involved stealing back his stolen property.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Vengeance

Retaliation that serves a perceived moral or societal balance.
The hero's vengeance was not just for himself, but for all the oppressed.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Revenge

A way of gaining satisfaction for a harm done.
Her revenge was cutting off all ties with her betrayer.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Vengeance

A pursuit of justice through retributive actions.
Her vengeance involved legally bringing the fraudsters to justice.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Revenge

An act of retribution for personal grievances.
He exacted revenge by spreading rumors about his ex-partner.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Vengeance

An act of punishment or retribution for a greater cause.
In vengeance, the community boycotted the unethical company.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Vengeance

Infliction of punishment in return for a wrong committed; retribution.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Vengeance

Revenge taken for an insult, injury, or other wrong.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Vengeance

Desire for revenge.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Vengeance

Punishment inflicted in return for an injury or an offense; retribution; - often, in a bad sense, passionate or unrestrained revenge.
To me belongeth vengeance and recompense.
To execute fierce vengeance on his foes.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Vengeance

Harm; mischief.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Vengeance

The act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done) especially in the next life;
Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord
For vengeance I would do nothing. This nation is too great to look for mere revenge
He swore vengeance on the man who betrayed him
The swiftness of divine retribution
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

FAQs

What drives a person to seek revenge?

Personal emotions like anger or hurt from a perceived wrong.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Is vengeance legally justified?

It depends on the context; legal systems may not view it as justifiable.
Sara Rehman
Jan 01, 2024

Can revenge be positive?

Rarely, as it often perpetuates a cycle of retaliation.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

How does society view vengeance?

It varies, but often as more justified if it upholds moral norms.
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

Does revenge have to be immediate?

No, it can be delayed until an opportune moment.
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

Does vengeance have to be violent?

No, it can be symbolic or involve legal actions.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Can vengeance be impersonal?

Yes, it can be carried out for a greater cause or principle.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

What are the risks of seeking revenge?

Escalation of conflict, legal repercussions, and emotional toll.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Is revenge always personal?

Yes, it typically involves personal grievances.
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

What impact does revenge have on relationships?

It typically harms or destroys relationships.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Can revenge lead to satisfaction?

Temporarily, but it often doesn't resolve underlying issues.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

Are there alternatives to revenge?

Yes, like mediation, forgiveness, or legal recourse.
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024

Does society always support acts of vengeance?

No, societal views vary greatly on this matter.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Can vengeance bring closure?

It might, but it doesn't always address the root cause of the grievance.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Is vengeance a solution to injustice?

Not always, as it can create further injustices.
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024

Can vengeance be premeditated?

Yes, it often involves careful planning and deliberation.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 01, 2024

How does revenge affect one's mental health?

It can lead to negative emotions and prolonged stress.
Harlon Moss
Jan 01, 2024

Can vengeance be a form of defense?

Sometimes, especially if it deters further harm.
Janet White
Jan 01, 2024

Can seeking revenge escalate conflicts?

Yes, it often leads to cycles of retaliation.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024

Is vengeance ever completely fair?

It's subjective and depends on one's perspective on justice.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 01, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.

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