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An eye for an eye, The Golden Rules relation to the theme of revenge

Rashad Cartwright

English 230-6
Professor Douglas-Jones
5 April 2016

Confucius has displayed many life lessons which contributed to the overall morality growth in
the world. A lesson that has been overused or in other words has become clich is the golden
rule. This ideal has been passed on in many beliefs and has become a universal lesson to abide
by. Many have heard the line an eye for an eye, this line is heavily related or stems from the
golden rule which many use as justification for vengeance. Many films today depict the theme of
revenge in the film plot. The golden rule is seen to have an extension and this is seen in the 2012
film The Dark Knight Rises.
This film is the conclusion to the Batman Trilogy and many of its themes is heavily related to
revenge situations and conflicts. The first part of vengeance obviously involves Batman and
vengeance sought through seeking justice on those who commit crimes. The reason behind this is
the foreshadowing seen in most films which involves him as boy seeing the death of his
parents. The golden rule takes place here in a controversial way where Bruce Wayne treats most
criminals the same treats them how they treat society, violently and bold.
The second instance of revenge is the conflict between Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and society.
Kyle curses the wealthy in society and her birth into poverty. In the movie she is a petty thief
who steals from the rich claiming it to be in the name of poverty. Kyle steals from the rich who
have to much, this leads to the scene where she steals pearls belonging to Martha Wayne, Bruces
deceased mother. Upon meeting her Bruce describes her to be a lost child who scorns the world
for her own misfortune and she rebuttals that he can not understand her pain because he was
born in the master bedroom of the Wayne estate. Catwomans golden rule is seen where she
takes from the rich who take from the poor.
The last instance of revenge is seen at the climax of the movie where the true antagonist presents
herself. Miranda Tate throughout the movie pretended to be on the side of Bruce Wayne only to

reveal herself as Talia Ghul, daughter of Ras al Ghul, the main antagonist of the first movie
Batman Begins. Her revenge is against the Batman for killing her father and her thirst is not
satisfied with just Bruce Waynes death but with the death of the entirety of Gotham City. Her
hatred began when she was born into a pit, where her mother was abandoned by her grandfather
and her father placed in exile. Her revenge was to detonate a bomb with enough power to takeout
Gotham City completely. The Golden Rule takes place here where Batman kills Ras Al Ghul
and she seeks to get even by killing in turn but gets when she want 12 million lives for one.
In conclusion although the Golden Rule may be clich it is still seen around the world found in
many religions and has created many unintended ideals as an extension such as vengeance. Many
films make a play on the vengeance theme, as well of many books and comics. The Batman
series is a clear example of a revenge themed story stemming from the golden rule which was
meant to teach us to respect one another and treat each other how we would expect to be treated
in return.

Confucius, and Arthur Waley. "Book V: Chap. 11." The Analects of Confucius. London: G. Allen
& Unwin, 1938. N. pag. Print.
The Dark Knight Rises. Dir. Thomas. Tull, Lloyd. Phillips, and Jon Peters. By Hans Zimmer,
Jerry Siegel, and Joe Shuster. Perf. Christian Bale, Michael. Cane, and Gary Oldman.
Warner Bros, 2012. Film.