This essay analyzes the differences between traditional and Kantian retributivism. Poe's revenge tales not only highlight the intricate links between the Law and superego evil but also lay bare the agenda of the perverse subjects of the Law. Vengeance is often justified on legal grounds: law-preserving violence, lawmaking violence, and law-bending violence. And the avenger can hide behind the Law to reap surplus enjoyment in practicing evil and executing boundless revenge.
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- Literature and Literary Theory