A character in these narratives seeks revenge against people (Moby Dick excepted) who have wronged or slighted them.
Vengeance in Novels
The Count of Monte Cristo | Alexandre Dumas
After returning from a commercial sea voyage, Edmond Dantes is promoted to captain, and is soon to marry the beautiful Mercedes. He is framed for a crime by two men, one jealous of his promotion and one a rival for Mercedes. He is sent to the Chateau d’If where he suffers, plots his escape, and plans his revenge.
“…I, betrayed, sacrificed, buried, have risen from my tomb, by the grace of God, to punish that man. He sends me for that purpose, and here I am.”
Moby-Dick | Herman Melville
Ishmael signs on to a whaling ship, the Pequod, run by the vengeful Captain Ahab. After they set sail, Ahab stays in his cabin for a few days before showing himself to the crew. He tells them the sole purpose of their mission is to find the whale that cost him his leg on his last trip, Moby-Dick. He offers a reward to the first man who spots the whale. Ahab’s actions become increasingly unsettling.
“…to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.”
Wuthering Heights | Emily Bronte
An orphan boy, Heathcliff, is brought to Wuthering Heights and becomes close to his benefactor’s daughter, Catherine Earnshaw. They aren’t socially equal, so Catherine refuses to marry Heathcliff, leading to a string of deranged behavior.
The Godfather | Mario Puzo
Vito Corleone is the head of America’s most powerful crime family. After he refuses to get involved with drugs, an assassination attempt is made on him. This prompts his youngest son, Michael, who has heretofore stayed out of the family business, to seek revenge.
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