retributive vengeance

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mia0815

Senior Member
Taiwanese
I would have to give up the idea of retributive vengeance against Judd, as we would then be joined at the hip forever. Judd’s Wife, Shunammite, would be a collateral casualty.

The Testaments (sequel to The Handmaid's Tale) by Margaret Atwood

How does retributive modify vengeance?

Does vengeance itself connotate retribution?

Thank you.
 
  • morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    How does retributive modify vengeance?
    Does vengeance itself connotate retribution?
    Some people make a distinction between retribution and vengeance and would find retributive vengeance to be contradictory. Many people treat those two, more or less, interchangeably as far as their meanings go and to them, retributive vengeance would be tautology. Others, as Google suggests, use retributive vengeance to describe a specific form of vengeance (e.g. scholarship.law.cornell.edu describes two forms of vengeance: retributive vengeance and private vengeance - it seems to me that they just turned retribution into retributive vengeance and vengeance into private vengeance - creativity never goes out of style, right?). So what did Margaret Atwood mean by retributive vengeance? Well, let me borrow one of her own answers :):
    Q: Do you consider it [The Handmaid’s Tale] a feminist book?
    A: [...] I always want to know what people mean by that word. Some people mean it quite negatively, other people mean it very positively, some people mean it in a broad sense, other people mean it in a more specific sense. Therefore, in order to answer the question, you have to ask the person what they mean.
    Source: www.timescolonist.com
     
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