Symbols of revenge help people process their anger and take control of it. They may be animals that seek revenge in nature or ancient symbols that were once used to exact revenge on enemies.
Revenge is not a new concept, as it has been around since the dawn of time. No matter the religion, revenge exists deep into the past. Cain and Abel, for instance, is the first account of human revenge in the Christian faith.
In the modern world, revenge is not considered a positive action or thought process. But recognizing the feelings of revenge and how to utilize it for the greater good. Understanding is half the battle for revenge, and to do so, symbols of revenge can greatly benefit those facing it.
What is the Meaning of Revenge?
Revenge means to exact harmful actions on another with the intent to do so. Philosophers separate punishment, justice, and revenge.
The biggest difference is that revenge is the only one with an intent of wrongdoing or sin. The point of punishment is to prevent further wrongdoing while justice is to reach a sense of fairness.
In most cases, the revenge must be for the person who is seeking revenge. If one gets revenge for someone else, it is called avenge.
Which Color Symbolizes Revenge?
Red and black are the colors of revenge. The red for revenge symbolizes passion and bloodshed. The black for revenge symbolizes death and destruction.
The origins of the colors and how they relate to revenge are unknown but the meaning stands no matter where in the world you are. Though the colors can be good, they tend to lean toward aggression unless otherwise specified.
Flowers That Symbolize Revenge
- Red Poppy – associated with Remembrance Day and a sedative, the poppy represents revenge against those who harm the least of these.
- Aconitum – a poisonous flower also known as wolfsbane
Plants That Symbolize Revenge
- Venus Fly Trap – a common plant in fiction to represent how hostile nature can be
- Kudzu – the most invasive plant in the U.S., known for taking over if nature is disrupted
Animal Revenge Symbols
- Scorpion – a venomous creature that symbolizes a natural means of revenge
- Raven – the god Odin uses his ravens Huginn and Muninn to seek revenge
- Spider – able to capture prey with ease, the spider is an old symbol of revenge with deep origins in Africa and Asia
- Black Cat – seen as bad luck to some and fortune to others, the black cat represents how quickly the tables of revenge may turn
- Snake – the oldest animal symbol for revenge
Symbols of Revenge in Literature
The tragedy of Hamlet has many undertones, but perhaps the greatest overtone is revenge. The classic tale of a royal uncle murdering the heir’s father to steal the throne begins with Hamlet.
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is a lengthy tale following a wrongfully accused man out for revenge. Monte Cristo’s plot shows how revenge can span decades.
The modern novel of The Revenant shares a rural tale of revenge. Hugh Glass’s story is dark and horrific, full of betrayal and unnecessary death that doesn’t begin or end with revenge.
From the Quick and the Dead to Wild Wild West, modern Western movies are quick to focus on revenge. But perhaps the most famous tale of Western revenge is True Grit.
The book (and movies) follow a young woman whose father was murdered. After this, she hires the famous Marshall Rooster Cogburn to hunt down his killer.
One of the oldest tales of revenge is found in The Illiad by Homer. The story follows the Greek characters of Achilles, Helen, and more, with nearly every character seeking revenge in some form.
Carrie by Stephen King is another classic book about revenge. It has been retold time and time again, each with a unique spin on the psychic character that seeks revenge on bullies.
9 Symbols of Revenge
Universal Symbols of Revenge
Coffins are not always symbols of revenge, but they can be. The coffin is a symbol of revenge that insinuates death in some way. If used correctly, they are easily understood as a revenge message all over the world.
2. Broken Mirror
A broken mirror is a symbol of revenge in many cultures. It was popularized by movies and superstitions in which they represent bad luck, often warranted by revenge from the dead.
Modern Symbols of Revenge
3. Voodoo Doll
Voodoo doll origins come from the 20th-century Cajun regions of Louisiana, Haiti, and the Caribbean. The doll is not a cult symbol but rather a religious symbol used in ceremonies and revenge rituals relating to the Vodou religion.
Daggers are common symbols of revenge in the modern world. They are an easy way to exhibit revenge with a small and easily concealed weapon.
Occult Symbols of Revenge
The skull is a symbol of revenge relating to death. Though not always a promise of murder, the eerie origins and atmosphere brought by skulls send the proper message.
6. Black Candle
Black candles are symbols of revenge that are not always bad. The candles are often used in occult rituals to bring luck, prosperity, and protection. But it is possible to use them to bring about revenge and justice.
Medieval Symbols of Revenge
7. The Letter V
The letter V stands for victory, vengeance, and vendetta. All may relate to the origin of V for Vendetta, which is the real Guy Fawkes, who lived in the 1500s.
Poison is a popular symbol of revenge today, but the origins of poison bottles date back to the Middle Ages. Vials in medieval tales and beyond symbolize the act of revenge rather than just the thought of it.
9. Five of Swords
Five of Swords is a Tarot card for revenge that dates back to medieval times. The card also symbolizes conflict and defeat, so those who see it may receive revenge rather than execute it.