The New Revenge and the Old Retribution: Insights from Monte Cristo
Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 31, pp. 119-142, 2004
Posted: 4 May 2005 Last revised: 31 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 30, 2012
This paper argues, through a careful reading of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, that the ideal modern form of revenge is retribution. In Dumas' story, this revenge-as-retribution is portrayed as both unattainable and inhuman. Both mercy and an older, honor-based notion of revenge are understood in the story as more humane alternatives to retribution, and more appropriate to human justice.
Keywords: retribution, revenge, mercy, punishment
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