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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Justice: The Contrast or Reflection of Vengeance

When a person is wronged, should he or she seek justice? Sometimes the repercussions of one's actions cause more harm than good. A story the presenter has crafted, though a work of fantasy, has a main character who is presented with such a dilemma. Many different cultures have played this argument out to no real solution. Three examples of this are: Hamlet, the Samurai Code, and the atomic bombing of Japan. Shakespeare expressed this moral conflict through his classic play, Hamlet where prince Hamlet questions how to avenge his father's murder at the cost of destroying the monarchy. The Samurai culture of Ancient Japan was on built upon a family's honor, and how one's life would end by their own hands if they didn't right a wrong done to the family. America entered the WWII with the sole purpose of taking retribution upon the Japanese, and even dared to use a new bomb which could have obliterated Japan. Is justice achieved only through violence? This is how some cultures answer the question.

Presenter: Andrew Sparling (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Anthropology
Location: 122 Hartwell
Time: 2:30 am (Session IV)