National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 3. Copyright 2007 National Collegiate Honors Council.


This course explores the moral and aesthetic tenets of revenge passion as represented in Western literature and film. In addition to viewing such cinematic works as The Godfather and Dead Man Walking, we read Greek and Renaissance drama, passages from The Bible, Romantic poetry and philosophy, and essays concerned with contemporary instances of revenge. We are particularly interested in the historical shift from family- and clan-oriented societies to those based on national judicial systems, as well as in the emotional price we continue to pay in moving from the one type of satisfaction to the other.