Difference Between Retribution & Revenge

Retribution vs Revenge

The main difference between retribution and revenge relies on whether it is legally accepted or not. Retribution is a type of punishment mandated by law, while revenge is a personal punishment that is not legally authorized.

Key Takeaways

  • Retribution is a form of punishment inflicted by law, aiming to ensure justice and equality.
  • Revenge is a personal, often emotionally-driven form of payback that is not legally authorized.
  • Retribution follows procedural rules and codes of conduct, while revenge does not have established legal procedures or rules.

What does Retribution mean?

Retribution refers to punishment inflicted on a person for a wrong or criminal act, and it is proportional to the gravity of the crime committed. Retribution, also known as retributive justice, is imposed by the state or judicial authority, ensuring that the offender is “repaid” with an experience proportionate to their crime. This type of punishment is not vengeful, aiming to punish the wrongdoer and ensure their reform and rehabilitation.

What does Revenge mean?

Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a wrong or grievance, driven by a desire to get even and derive satisfaction from seeing the person suffer. It is a personal form of justice where individuals take the law into their own hands. Unlike retribution, revenge does not correct the wrong suffered and does not follow legal procedures or established rules.

What is the difference between Retribution and Revenge?

The difference between revenge and retribution is simple to understand:

  • Retribution is a legally authorized form of punishment, while revenge is not sanctioned by law.
  • The goal of retribution is to serve justice to the victim and public, whereas the goal of revenge is personal vengeance or getting even.
  • Retribution is carried out for legally recognized crimes and wrongs, while revenge can be carried out for various reasons and is not limited by the type or severity of punishment.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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