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Quotes / Cycle of Revenge

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"What you talk about is not justice. What you talk of is revenge. It never ends. My boy is gone. (in Spanish) You gangsters and your "justice." You're all the same."
Manuel Varga, Better Call Saul

"And the hatred planted in those you leave alive will pass from one generation to the next until this world is engulfed in a war the cause of which none of those fighting will remember. It will never end, don't you see that? Hate only breeds hate and the Imperium cannot be built upon such bloody foundations."
Primarch Rogal Dorn, speaking to Konrad Curze, Horus Heresy

"Oberyn wanted vengeance for Elia. Now the three of you want vengeance for him. I have four daughters, I remind you. Your sisters. My Elia is fourteen, almost a woman. Obella is twelve, on the brink of maidenhood. They worship you, as Dorea and Loreza worship them. If you should die, must El and Obella seek vengeance for you, then Dorea and Loree for them? Is that how it goes, round and round forever? I ask again, where does it end?"
Ellaria Sand, A Song of Ice and Fire

"It all goes back and back, to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance in our steads."
Tyrion Lannister, A Song of Ice and Fire

Before setting out on the path of revenge, first dig two graves.
Chinese proverb

All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
The Bible (King James Version), Matthew 26:52

"Isaac was my friend!" he cried, he begged them in his fear
But centuries of hatred have ears that cannot hear
An eye for an eye was all that filled their minds
And another eye for another eye, 'til everyone is blind
Tommy Sands, ''There Were Roses"

"Revenge is like a ghost. Its thirst cannot be quenched... until the last man standing has fallen."
Vladimir Makarov, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

X: For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance. This is the one law of animated cartoon motion that also applies to the physical world at large. For that reason, we need the relief of watching it happen to a duck instead.

"Revenge is never good, it kills the soul and then poisons it too."
Don Ramon, El Chavo del ocho

Justice belongs to those who claim it, but let the claimant beware lest he create new injustice by his claim and thus set the bloody pendulum of revenge into its inexorable motion.
Gowachin aphorism, ConSentiency

"Maybe it had to be done... but vengeance begets vengeance!"
Travis Touchdown, No More Heroes

"I said I'd avenge you killing my brother, didn't I? Well, who's been a brother to you? Travis...don't think you can kill without suffering consequences. To kill someone is not simply to end their must risk their entire being to destroy another's. Up until now, you've had it easy...I've taken the curse you gave me, the shackles of revenge, and I'm throwing them back on you! Now, it's your turn to be burdened with another's death! It has destroyed me, and it will destroy you, too! THIS IS THE ULTIMATE VENGEANCE!"

"Did you honestly think you could take so many lives and never suffer retribution? Have you never even seen a kung-fu movie, spy flick or western? Shakespeare, for God's sake! Not only did you murder my father, but my two brothers as well! That is why I took your best friend's life. Make sense, Travis? It's called poetic justice."

And in this mass-produced savagery, one truth is constant. With each shattered life, the same vow is uttered: "I will have revenge." And no assassin can ever walk away from that. He must draw his beam and stand against the madness.

"Make her pay"
— Minor Arc Words from Homestuck

Superman: We're not talking about the government; we're talking about a shadow cabinet that's taken it upon themselves to eliminate us! They came after us, we have to hit them back hard!
The Flash: Grammy Flash used to say that the trouble with "an eye for an eye" is that everybody ends up blind.
Justice League Unlimited, "Flashpoint"

"ENOUGH!! There will be no more bloodshed today. I see now why your Alliance and Horde cannot stop fighting. Every reprisal is itself an act of aggression, and every act of aggression triggers immediate reprisal."
Taran Zhu, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

"Humans rejected your father and taught him to hate... then he destroyed me and I was filled with hatred as well! It's a vicious cycle that never ends, Nadira!"

Obi-Wan Kenobi: (about Melida/Daan) There are so many dead. But there's no clear reason why they fight. Battle follows battle, each one conducted to avenge the one before. What is the real dispute?
Qui-Gon Jinn: Perhaps they have forgotten it. The hatred is bred in their bones. Now they fight over meters of territory, or to avenge a wrong that happened a hundred years before.
Jedi Apprentice, "The Defenders of the Dead"

When our guard is down, I think we'll both agree
That violence breeds violence
— "It Has To Be This Way", Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Kevin: And the really contagious memes can be even worse. For example: revenge. A guy sees his countrymen killed by terrorism, so he becomes a terrorist and retaliates... It's an infinite loop.
Raiden: I think it's the same thing with child soldiers. Kid's parents are killed by other kids, so they join the war next and start killing other people's parents. There's gotta be a way to break the cycle, though.

The Soviet Socialist Republic of Grzkjistan was a remote, harsh, mountainous, extremely tribal nation whose economy was based primarily on revenge. The Grzkjistanis spent their adult lives thinking up and carrying out elaborate plots to kill and maim each other in connection with bitter, centuries-old grudges, many of them involving goats.

"You just want cruelty to beget cruelty. You're not superior to people who were cruel to you. You're just a whole bunch of new cruel people. A whole bunch of new cruel people, being cruel to some other people, who'll end up being cruel to you. The only way anyone can live in peace is if they're prepared to forgive. Why don't you break the cycle?"
The Doctor, Doctor Who

"You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you yourself were a victim once - there has to be a limit."
Edward Said

"Vengeance has consumed you. It's consuming them. I am done letting it consume me."
T'Challa/Black Panther personally defying the trope, Captain America: Civil War

But beware
For when you quench your blood thirst
Others will seek their vengeance on you
And they won't rest until you're dead
Dethklok, "Murmaider"

"Blood leads only to blood, and violence begets violence. Nothing more. Revenge is simply another name for murder."

"Governor, somewhere along the line of history, this bloody chain-reaction has got to stop. A destroys B...B destroys C...C destroys A and is destroyed by D, who destroys E...and before anyone knows where they are there'll be nobody left to know anything...anywhere."

"... I was dragged into that twisted world and I lost my family!... I realized I was a walking contradiction. Now I am doing the same things a terrorist does. Instead of cutting the chains of violence, I made the choice to fight back. Because I believe that in order to prevent such tragedies from happening again the world needs to change from its very foundations... I'll accept my punishment for not stopping the killing... after I've changed the world."
Lockon Stratos, Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Tyrion: How long does it go on?
Cersei: Until we've dealt with all our enemies.
Tyrion: Every time we deal with an enemy, we create two more.
Cersei: Then I suppose it will go on for quite a long time.

"The war between Heaven and Hell is an ever-turning wheel of vengeance. Any atrocity you could name was committed in the name of avenging some previous act. The wheel won't stop turning until either one side is wiped out completely, or our mutual annihilation."
"It's like trying to use blood to clean up blood"
Lakritz, Slightly Damned

Adam: Fleury. Tell me what you whispered to Janet, in the briefing, to get her to stop crying about Fran, you know, before all this, before we even got airborne. What'd you say to her?
Aunt: Tell me, what did your grandfather whisper in your ear before he died?
Adam: You remember?
Fleury: I told her we were gonna kill 'em all.
Grandson: "Don't fear them, my child. We are going to kill them all."

If we win our independence?
Is that a guarantee of freedom for our descendants?
Or will the blood we shed begin an endless cycle
Of vengeance and death with no defendants?
Hamilton, "My Shot"

"You reap what you sow, Artyom. Force answers force. War breeds war. And death only brings death. To break this vicious circle one must do more than just act without any thought or doubt."
Khan, Metro 2033

Brooklyn: [looking upon shattered remains of humans] It's like the massacre at Castle Wyvern.
Goliath: Has Demona learned nothing?! Every life is precious.
Brooklyn: One of these could be Elisa.
Goliath: Never! We will put an end to Demona's evil once and for all.
Weird Sisters: Yes, she must be stopped, but remember your own words, Goliath. Every life is precious. Take care not to become what you fight against. Vengeance begets nothing but a vicious cycle of further vengeance.
Gargoyles, "City of Stone, Part Two"

"One guy's killed for killing another and then he's killed for killing him. How is that kind of twisted thinking ever gonna bring us peace? Well?"
Cagalli Yula Athha, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED

"It's interesting how violence begets violence, don't you think?"
Mayrikafsa, Red Moon Rising (Holt)

Tell me why break trust, why turn the past to dust
Seeking solace in the abyss
Tell me why create, a circle none can break
Why must you let go, the life you were bestowed
This I fear I'll never know
Never know
Dragonsong, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Human Twilight Sparkle: L-Leave my friends alone!
Gilda: Pisses you off, doesn't it? Seeing your comrades bleed? Pisses me off too. Want to guess how many comrades I’ve seen bleed and die fighting you Quincy!? Payback is a bitch and so am I.

"We're both just ordinary men who have been driven to seek vengeance in the name of justice. And if one comes to call vengeance 'justice', such justice will only breed further vengeance... and trigger a vicious cycle of hatred."
Pain, Naruto

"Bloodshed gives way to more bloodshed. Hatred breeds more hatred. Until all of the violence soaks into the land, carving rivers of blood. And no matter how many times it happens, they never learn. Humans are made up of violent, miserable fools."

Hiccup: Look, all I'm saying is, if anyone deserves [revenge], Viggo does. And we're the only ones that can exact it.
Stoick: Perhaps. But what comes after that? Viggo's revenge? Then our revenge on his revenge? It's pointless, Hiccup. Trust me. I know.

No, I don't want a battle from beginning to end
I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don't wanna follow Death and all of his friends
— "Death and All His Friends", Coldplay

"Then I saw it. I saw a mom who would die for her son. A man who would kill for his wife. A boy, angry and alone. Laid out in front of him, the bad path, I saw it. And the path was a circle, round and round. So I changed it."
Young Joe, Looper

Quackity: When seeking revenge, it's quite easy to get caught up in the possible rewards even before you obtain them. But if revenge is failed, you will pay the price. That's why you have to know the objective of your revenge, and then you've gotta plan it out in your head, and then you gotta organize a buncha people to do the planning-
Slime: Is it worth it?
Quackity: ...what?
Slime: I've been watching for a long time... One person lashes out, then the other does... until they're both gone. From what I've seen, it feels like people don't stop taking that revenge. Is it ever worth it?
Quackity: No, it's not.

Techno: The thing is, Tubbo, y'know, you started a country, then I spawned Withers in it, then you dropped an anvil on my head, then I blew up your country, and all of these experiences have really taught me a valuable lesson about the cyclical nature of revenge. I mean... If we just keep- If we just keep, uh, fighting the people who- who wronged us first, it's just gonna be a neverending-
Tubbo: It's just gonna be an endless loop! You're so wise!
Techno: An endless cycle of revenge, until there's nothing left.
Tubbo: ...I am alright to get revenge now, right? 'Cause I'm really-
Techno: Yeah, that- that being said, LET'S GO KILL ERET, YEAAAAH!

Mendez: Governor, somewhere along the line of history, this bloody chain reaction has got to stop! A destroys B. B destroys C. C destroys A and is destroyed by D who destroys E. Before anyone knows where they are, there won't be anyone left to know anything, anywhere!