Difference Between Vengeance and Justice

Vengeance vs Justice

Vengeance and justice are two concepts with a clear difference between them, even though most people tend to confuse these two when wronged. It is quite normal to feel betrayed, angry and hurt, and even vengeful after being wronged by another. Depending on the gravity of the situation, the need to seek revenge or justice can also vary. However, trying to resolve the situation through justice is always a better method rather than the use of vengeance. Through this article, let us examine the differences between these two emotions that people feel.

What is Vengeance?

Vengeance can be understood as revenge or retaliation. No matter how wonderful a person can be it is only human to feel vengeance after being wronged. For instance, imagine your team leader speaks ill of you for the decrease of productivity of the week in your department when in fact it was his fault. You tend to feel hurt and angry about the situation and desire to take revenge.

The key characteristic in vengeance is that the individual takes the law into his hands, rather than operating within a system. It is not the actual laws that govern his thoughts and actions, but his anger and bottled up emotions. This is the danger of vengeance. The sole purpose of the individual is not to gain a just response or solution to the situation, but to quench his thirst for revenge. Vengeance can be viewed not only as a negative emotion but also a very destructive one because it blurs the sense of right and wrong of an individual. Justice, however, is very different to vengeance.

Difference Between Vengeance and Justice

Vengeance lets the emotions control the person

What is Justice?

Justice can be defined as just behavior or treatment. Justice is the accepted manner of finding solutions to a problem, by working within a system. For instance, imagine a situation where a criminal is caught by civilians in a small town. If the people hit the criminal and take the law into their hands for the crimes that he has committed against them, then that is vengeance. However, if the people hand him over to the police station so that he can be dealt with in a just manner, then that promotes justice.

In the case of justice, the issue is viewed in an objective manner so that it is fair for both parties. Unlike in the case of vengeance where the individual is driven by his emotions of anger, pain, and hurt, in the case of justice, it is different. The one who committed the crime is given a punishment based on his crime. This creates a just and fair way of settling matters. Unlike vengeance, justice is positive and promotes the well-being of the society.

Vengeance vs Justice

Justice helps to solve matters peacefully

What is the difference between Vengeance and Justice?

Definitions of Vengeance and Justice:

Vengeance: Vengeance can be understood as revenge or retaliation.

Justice: Justice can be defined as just behavior or treatment.

Characteristics of Vengeance and Justice:


Vengeance: Vengeance is a negative emotion.

Justice: Justice is a positive emotion.


Vengeance: Vengeance can be detrimental.

Justice: Justice promotes fair and just treatment to all people.


Vengeance: In vengeance, the individual is driven by painful emotions.

Justice: When it comes to justice, it is not so. The sole purpose is to settle the matter in a fair manner.


Vengeance: In vengeance, the matter is viewed in a very subjective way.

Justice: In justice, the matter is viewed in an objective way.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Fight by Aislinn Ritchie (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. Discussing by Wikimedia Finland (CC BY-SA 2.0)