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In response to the original post:
In my eyes, the man is seeking revenge, and that is the only thing he can possibly seek. When a person feels wronged he cannot possibly act in a way that would be just because he has emotional attachment to the situation which would make any decision he makes unjust. Even a perfectly calculated reaction would end up not fitting, as one cannot find all the consequences of it, and cannot know how the other would react.
Thus, any reaction, no matter intent or severity, is revenge. This does not make it inappropriate to take such action at certain times, I find it entirely normal for people to react to offences. However, if one wants justice, one must wait until all is said and done and then look back in hopes of finding it: and only then, when nothing more can change, can one decide if things were just or not.
Revenge is not justice, but it is driven by the need for justice, because no person has honor who has not justice, and the ancients, like many people still alive today, realized that justice and honor were essentials of life, that no person without honor should be tolerated, and that no person without a claim to justice had any defense against aggression... When a person takes what is yours, even to taking the lives of your family; that one is taking your honor with them, and to have honor you must have justice, and if not justice, then revenge...
The bold part is interesting. We seem to have different definitions of justice, mine being nothing but an afterthought, never a goal: I feel that when one does something ``for justice'', one does it because one has been wronged, and thus out of revenge. Thus, justice can only ever truly be a result, never a goal, for humans are too flawed to worthily pursue it.
A man loses his wife to a thug who tried to steal her purse. he then devotes his wife to having this man found and executed. Does he do this for justice. Or maybe revenge. I mean no disrespect to families who have been through a situation like this. I know nothing of the subject. it is just a thought that has been bugging me.
:shocked:<-I SAW UR MOM NAKED.
So, you say justice is a relationship that can be broken, and honour is the desire to restore it. I disagree on the very core of that: I see neither the Ancient Greeks, nor any other society, as truly striving to react to merely balance things. To me, they all are merely cultured, vengeful men: they have good taste, they do not stoop too low, but the restore of things to justice would not please them. They do not wish to fix the matter and forget it: for books aren't written about fixing.
In short: the people then were just as forgiving after they 'restored the justice' as a person now who was compensated with money -- that is, not at all. They would not actively seek more `revenge', but merely due to it not being practical: and would they get another chance to punish the offenders for the same deed, they would take the chance. The often used finale with the offender being stripped of everything and then let free is just another example of this: an end as this, in those times, was far worse than death, and only through our modern eye do we mistake this ridicule for mercy.