Justice is our revenge on the arbitrary (the arbitrary being criminal acts which are outside of societies normality. The law is there to blow its own trumpet: to assure and persuade us that there is something called law and order, and that it works
. Whereas ‘retribution the soul of revenge gives violence definition. It simplifies by identifying a judge and a victim.’ Codes of punishment or revenge may be a pre-emptive strike (he hasn’t done anything to me but I know he is thinking about it) the thought that this might be done to me is unbearable, against the unbearable – one concocts revenge, At the point of envisioning the revenge there is a sense of omniscience (all knowing, all seeing) in the revenger and how he will enact his revenge.
Revenge sreinforces our own sense of control, what Nuttall calls ‘our secure sovereignty’. (Our Kingship in our heads, we are sovereign in our certainty). It might be said that the disguise of art, cloaks our gloatingly vicious selves