Tag Archives: Justice

JUSTICE AND ITS TYPES

Justice is an important concept in politics, philosophy, law and ethics. Different philosophers have analysed the concept in different ways. The quest for justice began with the beginning of human thinking. Justice has been understood differently in different contexts. There were many wars, struggles, revolutions, and social movements which were changed with the change of time and circumstances. It is closely associated with religion, morality, equality, liberty, property, law, politics and economic system. The criterion for judging each social concept is justice. In different social systems, there are different conceptions of justice. 

Meaning of justice: It is impossible to give a specific meaning of justice. Whenever an effort to define justice has been made, it has led to problems. The Greek philosopher Plato tried to define justice as a virtue in action.

The main difficulty in defining justice is that it is not an independent concept. Justice is closely associated with the system of values and the norms of social systems. Rawls writes “…. The nature and aims of a perfectly just society is a fundamental part of the theory of justice.”

Every system is governed by certain norms and values, in turn, determine justices. Thus, justice is not an absolute but a relative concept. Justice is related to values legitimacy and ideals.

Types of justice

  1. Distributive Justice: Distributive justice also known as economic justice is about fairness in what people receive, from goods to attention. Its roots are in the social order and it is at the roots of socialism, where equality is a fundamental principle. If the people do not think that they are getting their fair share of something, they will seek first to gain what they believe they deserve. They will also seek other forms of justice.
  2. Procedure Justice: The principle of fairness is also found in the idea of fair play (as opposed to the fair share of distributive justice). If people believed that a fair process was used in deciding what is to be distributed, then they may well accept an imbalance what they receive in comparison to others. If they see both procedural and distributive injustice, they will seek restorative and/or retributive justice.
  3. Restorative Justice: The first thing that the betrayed person may seek from the betrayer is some form of restitution putting things back as they should be. The simplest form of restitution is a straight forward apology. Restoration means putting things back as they were, so it may include some act of contribution to demonstrate one is truly sorry. This may include action and even extra payment to the offended party. Restorative justice is also known as corrective justice.
  4. Retributive Justice: Retributive justice works on the principle of punishment although what constitutes fair and proportional punishment is widely debated. While the intent may be to dissuade the perpetrator or others from future wrong-doing, the re-offending rate of many criminals indicates the limited success of this approach. Punishment in practices is more about the satisfaction of victims and those who care about them. In such a case, ‘justice’ is typically defined emotionally rather than with intent for fairness o prevention.

Unshed Tears: The Pain of a Repressed Woman

When you’re sleeping peacefully at your home, some painful noises are being suppressed, or even lose their lives. Yes, the crime rates haven’t gone down even in this pandemic; instead, it has surged up a lot. Domestic violence, brutal behaviour towards women are prevalent these days. A girl roaming freely suddenly gets her wings cut and, in some cases, tied to someone who doesn’t even value her priorities and feelings. These women suffer a lot, made to work without any rest, misbehaviour among them is common, which we generally observe, but some people straightforwardly neglect them on the face when they ask for help. What’s wrong with society? Don’t they have a soul for those who want to enjoy and be part of the happiness shared in this world? Do the constitution rights make us so free that we can do anything we wish for ourselves? This behaviour is wrong, and the current generation mindset gets diverted to the wrong path.

A woman is crying and expressing her pain.
A woman is depicting her pain by clasping her face to hide tears.

Almost 35 percent of women have experienced some physical violence or mental tortures around the world. More than 58 percent of women get killed by their partners or family members. One hundred thirty-seven women die when their member of the family kills them. Nearly 49 percent of all human trafficking victims are adult women. According to an estimation, over 650 million women and girls in the world today get married before age 18 termed as child marriage, as mentioned in most country laws. These marriages often result in early pregnancy and social isolation; schooling gets abandoned; their opportunities get seized and increases more risk of experiencing domestic violence brutally every day. Globally, one out of three students get bullied by their fellow mates in the school.

A woman is screaming to express her pain.
A woman is screaming in grief.

The UN officially mentioned the above facts. There are many misconceptions across the globe. Sati, one of the historical practices followed in India, where women sacrifice their souls for their husbands’ death. Great enthusiasts like Raja Rammohan Roy, along with Lord William Bentinck, were able to stop the practice. But now, even if a voice gets raised, a thousand question is asked as a follow-up. One who’s already ashamed and shocked by the heinous crime made towards these women, how can they speak up for themselves? They need full support from society. What can we do to stop this? We can make people aware of the pain a woman suffers throughout their entire life. We can stand against the existing laws and create a revolution to curb such crimes, make stricter laws, and deploy faster court proceedings. They should get justice right on time. Just by rallying with candles across the streets won’t bring the change until the demons of the malpractices are caught and punished on time. These prisoners usually escape due to ease in the judiciary system and loopholes in the current policies. This issue requires a lot of attention before it is too late. Save the future and build a positive society around us. Otherwise, these will end up in a huge disaster.

The Vindication of the just in the Winter’s Tale

Chung Chin-Yi

National University of Singapore


Abstract: Hermione represents a Christ figure who is crucified by the jealous, irrational and sinful man Leontes, to be resurrected 16 years later after Leontes repents of his jealousy, irrationality, selfishness and egocentrism. His sin was disbelieving the goodness and fidelity of Hermione, much like unbelievers crucified Christ and refused to believe he was their savior and Messiah. At her resurrection, Leontes comes to see how foolish he was all this while, much like the persecutors of Christ repent at his resurrection when they realize they had wrongly accused Christ and he is indeed the good and rightful Messiah of the world. The vindication of the innocent Hermione parallels the vindication of the innocent Christ who was wrongly accused and crucified for no crime of his own. The play thus testified to the vindication of the righteous over the course of time. Time will reveal the innocence of the wrongly accused, just as Hermione is vindicated at her resurrection Christ will reveal his true innocence and status as the true Messiah when he returns in final glory at the second coming.

Keywords: Winter’s tale, Shakespeare, justice, vindication, jealousy

“They would be content to die if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.”
Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 44-46. Leontes is the king of Sicilia. Polixenes is the king of Bohemia. These two kings have been bosom friends since childhood. Archidamus, a Bohemian courtier, has just offered glowing recommendations for Mamillius, Leontes’ only son. Camillo, a courtier to the king of Sicilia, supports the comments made by Archidamus, saying “They that went on crutches before he was born desire yet their life to see him a man.” Camillo offers this quote. All seem to believe that Mamillius is a talented young man. Continuing to be full of praise for Leontes, Mamillius, and his fellow countrymen, Archidamus says “If the King had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one.”

“We were two lads who thought there was no more in the future but such a day tomorrow as today, and to be boys eternal.”
Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 79-82. Hermione is Leontes’ wife, his queen. Complimenting her husband, as usual, Hermione has been trying to get Polixenes to stay in Sicilia a week more. Polixenes has been in Sicilia for some time, visiting his long-time friend Leontes. Hermione stirs up memories of the past, saying “tell me of my lord’s tricks and yours when you were boys.” Polixenes offers this quote. But in spite of her insistence, he is determined to quickly return to Bohemia. Polixenes has business to tend to in Bohemia.

“One good deed dying not spoken of kills a thousand accompanying it. Our praises are our wages.”
Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 118-120. Leontes praises his wife’s effort to encourage Polixenes to extend his stay in Sicilia. He says “once before you spoke to better purpose.” The two of them, happy as can be to have Polixenes there in Sicilia, banter with each other, Hermione responding to his comment, by saying “not twice; not more than twice?” She says “Cram us with praise, and make us as fat as tame things.” She then offers this quote. She asks “what was the first time I spoke to better purpose?” He says when “thou didst utter I am yours forever.There is no marital friction between them.

“I may be negligent, foolish and fearful. These are such infirmities that honesty is never free of.”
Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 310-325. Hermione has persuaded Polixenes to stay in Sicilia for another week. But Leontes has now become jealous pf Polixenes, believing that Hermione in her persuasive efforts has been seducing Polixenes. Now convinced that Hermione and Polixenes are more than just friends, believing she has had a “too close relationship” with Polixenes, Leontes throws a tantrum at his aide, Camillo, for not seeing what Leontes now believes is her adultery. Camillo doesn’t quite know how to react to Leontes, saying this to defend himself.

“Do not weep, good friends; there is no cause. When you shall know your mistress has deserved prison, then abound in tears as I come out.”
Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 141-146.  An enraged Leontes, believing Polixenes to be the cause of Hermione’s pregnancy,imprisons Herione. Hermione maintains composure, speaking only to her ladies, asking that they attend her in prison to help her during her late stage pregnancy.

“Often, the silence of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails.”
Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 50-51.  Knowing the king is very upset with Hermione, imprisoning her, Paulina, one of the queen’s ladies-in-waiting, offers to tell Leontes of the birth of their daughter, hoping she can “prove honey-mouthed” and ease the friction between the two of them. Paulina says “We do not know how he may soften at the sight o’ th’ child.” Paulina offers this quote. Emilia is another lady-in-waiting. Paulina remains ignorant that Leontes believes Polixenes is the child’s father.

It is the heretic that makes the fire, not she who burns in ‘t.”
Act 2, Scene 3, Lines 148-149. . Paulina has just told the king at length how much the child looks like him, saying “the print be little, the whole matter and copy of the father.” She continues to describe how much  the two look similar. Leontes believes none of it. He says “I’ll have thee burnt.” She says “I care not” and says this.

  “Some powerful spirit instruct the hawks and ravens to be thy nurses.”   Act 2, Scene 3, Lines 227-228. Leontes has just commanded Antigonus, another of the king’s courtiers, to take the child to some remote desert out-back in Bohemia and to desert the baby there. Antigonus, having agreed to do anything to save the child from being burned, agrees to the command. He picks up the child and offers this prayer.

If powers divine behold our human actions, as they do, I doubt not then but innocence shall make false accusation blush and tyranny tremble at suffering endured with calmness.”
Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 29-33. The court’s indictment has read that she committed adultery with Polixenes and conspired with Camillo to take away the life of her husband, Leontes. Leontes has been unjustly cruel Hermione was calm as she listened to the accusations. The queen offers this speech soon after the judgement.

O thou tyrant, do not repent these things, for they are weightier than all thy woes can stir.”
: Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 228-230. Hermione dropped unconscious when the Court was told that Mamillius had died. She was carried out of the courtroom. Paulina followed her out. Leontes apologized to the court. Paulina re-enters and reveals truth to the court. She says “But the last woe, O lords, the Queen’s dead.” She then offers this quote to the court and to Leontes, going on to say to the king “A thousand supplicants for ten thousand years could not move the gods to look that way thou wert.”

“What’s gone and what’s past should be past grief.”
Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 246-247. Paulina has reported to Leontes and to the court that Hermione is dead. Paulina continues to chastise Leontes. A lord asks her to “Say no more.” She says “I do repent.” She says this to the court.

“I cannot forget how I destroyed the sweet’st companion that e’er man bred his hopes out of.”
Act 5, Scene 1, Lines 12-13. Perhaps twenty years have now passed since Leontes’ wife Hermione collapsed and he was told she had died. At that same time he had learned that their son Mamillius had also died. It was then that Leontes, furious, had demanded that their baby girl Perdita be taken to the Bohemian out-back and left there. He continues to suffer from remorse over his willful orders.

Dear queen, who ended when I but began, give me that hand of yours to kiss.”
Act 5, Scene3, Lines 53-54.Paulina has led the royal family into the gallery to view the statue of the queen, all standing in honor and wonder at the statue as Paulina draws back the curtain. Perdita kneels and then talks to the statue, offering this quote. Paulina calls Perdita back, saying “O patience! The color’s not dry

When she was young, you wooed her; now in age is she become the suitor?”  Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 134-135. Paulina to Leontes. Paulina has just asked Hermione, standing in the gallery as a statue, to descend. She does. For the moment, all are in shock and awe. Leontes then says “O, she’s warm! If this be magic, let it be art.”

“You gods, from your sacred vials pour your graces upon my daughter’s head.”
Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 153-155.  Having appeared to be a statue, Hermione now has descended from a platform and embraced her husband. Paulina introduces her to her daughter. As we now know, Hermione hadn’t seen her daughter since the day she was born, some sixteen to twenty years ago.

Hermione represents a Christ figure who is crucified by the jealous, irrational and sinful man Leontes, to be resurrected 16 years later after Leontes repents of his jealousy, irrationality, selfishness and egocentrism. His sin was disbelieving the goodness and fidelity of Hermione, much like unbelievers crucified Christ and refused to believe he was their savior and Messiah. At her resurrection, Leontes comes to see how foolish he was all this while, much like the persecutors of Christ repent at his resurrection when they realize they had wrongly accused Christ and he is indeed the good and rightful Messiah of the world. The vindication of the innocent Hermione parallels the vindication of the innocent Christ who was wrongly accused and crucified for no crime of his own. The play thus testified to the vindication of the righteous over the course of time. Time will reveal the innocence of the wrongly accused, just as Hermione is vindicated at her resurrection Christ will reveal his true innocence and status as the true Messiah when he returns in final glory at the second coming.

Works cited:

Shakespeare, William.    The Winter’s Tale.  Dover thrift editions. New York. 2000.