Created By: RonnieR15 on June 18, 2017 Last Edited By: RonnieR15 on July 4, 2017
Troped

Scales Of Justice

The use of scales (either literal or as a image) in court cases, law or justice.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
trope
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lady_justice.png
Lady Justice with the Scales Of Justice.

The weighing of a case's support and opposition can be tricky. In fact this has been exemplified with using scales as a symbol. This trope is also Older Than Dirt having existed since the ancient Semitic religion with their god of justice Shamash from which the scales were held sacred too. Along with Shamash the scales were also affiliated with Osiris, Anubis, Maat, Isis, Themisnote , Dike, Astraea, Nemesis/Invidia, Adrestia, Justitianote , Archangel Raguel and Lady Justicenote , who was more or less a Allegorical Character heavily based off of Justitia with some modern influences. Now a days it's mostly a Forgotten Trope.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Millennium Scale judges peoples souls.

Comic Book
  • Doctor Fate: In the New 52 a misled Osiris attacks Doctor Fate and uses his scales as a weapon against him.

Film
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: In a scene a suspected witch is put on the scales to see if she weighs the same as a duck (and therefore floats, is made of wood, is flammable, and hence a witch).
  • Harry Potter: The Wizengamot note  seal in the Harry Potter films posses a set of scales with what appears to be a wand as the beam.

Literature
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Ethan Nakamura's burial shroud has a set of scales on it. This is because Nemesis is his mother.
  • The Kane Chronicles: When the Kane siblings enter the Hall Of Judgement for the feather of truth Anubis's scales are seen, but are broken since Osiris has been trapped by Set. They get fixed by the end of the first book.

Live Action Series

Mythology and Religion
  • Mesopotamian Mythology: Shamash a god of justice was affiliated with them.
  • Egyptian Mythology: Osiris and Anubis famously used scales to judge the dead to see if they would ultimately have a afterlife by weighing the deceased's heart against Maatnote . Maatnote  and Isis are also sometimes depicted helping in this as well.
  • Classical Mythology: Themis, Dike, Astraea, Nemesis/Invidia, Adrestia and Justitia all use them since all of them are at least affiliated with justice, law, judgment or order if not a outright goddess of it. Themis and Dike (one of them or both are the Greek equivalent to Justitia) are the providers of the Tropenamer.
  • Judaism/Christianity: The Archangel Raguel is sometime portrayed with them since he's the angel of justice.

Web Animation
  • DC Super Hero Girls: Fittingly the courtyard of Super Hero High has a statue of Lady Justice, complete with her scales.

Webcomic
  • Homestuck: Terezi is based on the zodiac sign Libra, which is symbolised by scales. Her favourite hobby is to host court cases for her plush dragons, which usually end with said dragons hanged.

Western Animation
  • Tutenstein: The episode Curse Of The Pharaoh has Tutenstein go through the weighing of his heartnote  again in order to get rid of Ammut.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: Lady Justice appears with her scales Pin Up style.
  • Pluto's Judgement Day: Pluto is judged by a Jokers Jury made up of cats. The statue of Lady Justice, appropriately enough, is peeking through the blindfold and carrying a lopsided scale.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In The Fate of Equinox! a balance-obsessed supervillain named Equinox set up a scales-themed death trap. Equinox planned to use the scales to kill one hero and one villain to balance the universe, but Batman stopped him before he could carry out his skewed sense of justice.

Video Games
  • Smite: Nemesis is seen with them in her splash art and game play; such as when she's defeated. Two of her abilities also play with this trope "Scales Of Fate" and "Divine Judgement" with the scales seen in the abilities iconnote .
  • RuneScape: Several examples exist.
    • A pair of scales fuzed to a sword is apparently the symbol of the Seers' Village Courthouse.
    • Law Runes have a blue pair of scales painted on them.
  • Crusader Kings II: The symbol of the "Just" trait is a pair of scales.
  • Get Amped: As part of the Tarot-themed gears, the Arcana VIII (aka Justice Balance) takes form of a sword and a pair of scales.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity: A giant set of Scales of Justice appear in the Dimension of Death. As the hero Connor you have to weigh yourself against the Feather of Truth to prove your worth to the ruler of the underworld. Finding the Feather and accessing the Scales are separate quests.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: The bear is on the game's box art, dressed as Lady Justice complete with her scales. (For the TV series see Western Animation above.)
  • Dragon City: A few examples exist.
    • A dragon called the Zodiac Libra Dragon can be found in the Epic Dragon Pack, said dragon has scales hanging off it's horns and the constellation has long since been associated with law.
    • A dragon called the Justice Dragon exists emulating Lady Justice with her blindfold, though instead of having actual scales it just has a emblem on it's chest and egg with the scales on it.

Visual Novel
  • Ace Attorney: Considering the series is about attorneys and many scenes take place in a courtroom it's unsurprising to see scales appear numerous times in the series.

Real Life
  • Lady Justice who is heavily based off of Justitia has them.
  • Many courtrooms around the world have scales or at least a image of one because of this trope.
  • In Tarot, the Justice card shows a figure holding a scale in his or her left hand.
  • The Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen is a fountain that has a statue of Lady Justice complete with her scales. Below her are busts of a Pope, a Emperor, a Sultan and a Schultheiss with their eyes closed in submission. This was meant to show the supremacy of Justice over all forms of authority.
  • As part of the 3rd issue of United States fractional currency a 50 cent fractional currency depicts Lady Justice holding scales.
  • Of the Western Zodiac we have the constellation Libra which is usually depicted as set of weighing scalesnote  associated with law, fairness and civility.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • June 18, 2017
    Getta
    The symbolism of the scales is that it weighs both the person's virtues and vices. If the virtue is heavier than the vice then the person is good, if the vice is heavier then the person is bad. Along those lines.

  • June 18, 2017
    Arivne
    • Examples section
      • Added the word "Examples".
      • Namespaced work names.
      • Changed Mythology to Mythology and Religion because one of the examples is Judaism/Christianity.
      • De-italicized the mythology examples since they aren't works.

    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.

    Examples that violate How To Write An Example - Remember That This Is A Wiki have been marked as such. You can't assume that someone reading an example has read all of the other examples on the page. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.
  • June 18, 2017
    LB7979
    Fixed some typos in the Mythology and Religion section. That section in general needs more context to its examples though.
  • June 19, 2017
    Getta
    • In Tarot, the Justice card shows a figure holding a scale on his left hand.
  • June 19, 2017
    henke37
    • Dai Gyakuten Saiban has a scale in the background of the courtroom. The jurors use it to vote by throwing fire into the scale they currently support.
  • June 19, 2017
    RonnieR15
    Thank you you two.
  • June 21, 2017
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • The Community episode "Introduction to Finality" has Shirley and Pierce in a court case over ownership of Shirley's sandwich shop. The case is tried at the college and Dean Pelton dresses as Lady Justice at one point, complete with scales. Unfortunately, he also wears the blindfold which causes him to walk into a table crotch first.
  • June 21, 2017
    RonnieR15
    ^ Thank you!
  • June 23, 2017
    CactusFace
    I can't believe that this trope doesn't exist already.

    Video Games
    • Crusader Kings 2: The symbol of the "Just" trait is a pair of scales.
    • @Runescape:
      • Law Runes have a blue pair of scales painted on them.

    Web Comics
    • Homestuck: Terezi is based on the zodiac sign Libra, which is symbolised by scales. Her favourite hobby is to host court cases for her plush dragons, which usually end with said dragons hanged.
  • June 25, 2017
    RonnieR15
    ^ Thank you!
  • June 26, 2017
    Getta
    • Get Amped: As part of the Tarot-themed gears, the Arcana VIII (aka Justice Balance) takes form of a sword and a pair of scales.
  • June 26, 2017
    LB7979
    ^^^^^^^^ Regarding the Tarot card of Justice example: suggest to change it to ...holding a scale in his or her left hand. The character is depicted as male in the most common Tarot card edition, but on other editions more frequently is shown as a female figure
  • June 27, 2017
    NateTheGreat
    In Kings Quest IX Mask Of Eternity a giant set of Scales of Justice appear in the Dimension of Death. As the hero Connor you have to weigh yourself against the Feather of Truth to prove your worth to the ruler of the underworld. Finding the Feather and accessing the Scales are separate quests.
  • July 1, 2017
    TonyG
    In Plutos Judgement Day, Pluto is judged by a Jokers Jury made up of cats. The statue of Lady Justice, appropriately enough, is peeking through the blindfold and carrying a lopsided scale.
  • July 2, 2017
    DustSnitch
    • One Cold Open for Batman The Brave And The Bold had a balance-obsessed supervillain named Equinox set up a scales-themed death trap. Equinox planned to use the scales to kill one hero and one villain to balance the universe, but Batman stopped him before he could carry out his skewed sense of justice.
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