Causes of RevengeBy: Sofia Castro


Revenge in Wuthering Heights is the most powerful theme because the novel itself revolves around it. Without revenge, the plot of this novel would assimilate any other love story, consequently losing its untypical, but interesting effect on the reader. However, the theme of love should not lose importance due to its impact on revenge, as well. For example, when Heathcliff realizes he cannot have Catherine, his attention shifts into revenging his hated brother, Hindley. He desires to revenge all the mistreatment he received an also to feel as powerful or even more than him because Hindley made him feel inferior during his childhood. Hindley's drunken state at the time, made it easier for Heathcliff to achieve his desires and succeed with the inheritance. Revenge becomes a motivation for him, on the contrary, to Heathcliff longing Catherine's love without doing anything to solve it.
As mentioned before, one of the main causes of Heathcliff's revenge is unrequited love. Even though, Catherine does love Heathcliff back, she cannot downgrade her position in society for him. Therefore, she marries Edgar Linton who will improve her social status and will provide her a more comfortable and wealthy environment. Heathcliff is a tormented character that has built up anger and bitterness due to his love for Catherine and his situation at home. This, also serves as a motivation for revenge on his family who made him suffer all those years. Somehow, Heathcliff wants to blame Hindley for Catherine's unrequited love. He wants to believe, Hindley's comments and degradation made Catherine choose Edgar instead of him. In order to satisfy his repressed feelings, Heathcliff eventually loses his innocence and become a revengeful and evil man.

Another cause for revenge, is Catherine's death. She blames Heathcliff for her murder even though the real reason is her emotional instability. She loves Heathcliff, but her desire to become a respectable member of society, blinds her from her real feelings. This results on unhappiness, creating a desire of death on her behalf.

Hindley's revenge on Heathcliff on the other hand, begins since he arrived in Wuthering Heights. Shortly, Heathcliff became the favorite of the house and especially Mr. Earnshaw. This situation, torments Hindley and causes resentment toward Heathcliff. Hindley eventually falls into the never ending cycle of revenge. He tortures Heathcliff and makes him feel less, to improve his own ego. In the end, he goes bankrupt and dies.


This video is a song by Masterpiece Theatre. It represents the tone of the story when revenge is present.One can observe how the song is mysterious and dark, both of these being clearly present in the setting of the whole novel. It uses the drums to foreshadow negative results that are yet to come, due to the act of revenge.


“Revenge is like biting a dog that bit you” -Austin O’Malley

This quote is very interesting because it manifests the reality of vengeance in the novel. The reference of the dog depicts the ridiculousness and immatureness of the act of revenge. Heathcliff is the best example for this quote because he seeks retaliation in order to get back with all of the people that hurt him. However, in the end, that doesn't provide him peace of mind, in fact, it only turns him into an evil and dark soul. In the novel, Heathcliff gets revenge on Catherine by marrying Isabella and making her jealous. When Catherine dies, he realizes he did not achieve anything significant. Despite that result, he cannot stop. Later on, he tries to separate Cathy from Edgar.

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