The Importance of Justice vs. Mercy Throughout Society
“Justice: The quality of being morally just or righteous; exercise of authority or power in maintenance of right” (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary). Justice is the one crucial requirement to maintaining a fair and civilized community. Justice outweighs mercy in value to societies stability. In William Shakespeare’s “King Lear” justice is a key requirement for maintaining civilized life. This is demonstrated when there is a chaos from a lack of justice at times throughout the play, when justice is delivered sooner societies stability increases, and when antagonist’s display no remorse for their actions.
A world without justice would be greatly chaotic. "Let the great gods, That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads, Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch, That hast within thee undivulged crimes, Unwhipped of justice." (III ii 49-53) At this point King Lear has now become too week to correct his misjudgments about his daughters and is now calling on a divine justice because his power is now limited. This demonstrates that regardless of a person’s position in life, ultimately one of their great desires for all of society is to be just.
Justice, not mercy, is the greatest fundamental principal that society has because it demands that all citizens be held accountable for their behavior. “My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd; and more convenient is he for my hand. Than for your lady's: you may gather more. If you do find him, pray you, give him this; And when your mistress hears thus much from you, I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her. So, fare you well. If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor, Preferment falls on him that cuts him off" (IV v 32-42) Regan is immediately seeking for another man after her husband died. Justice is the only solution to respond to Regan’s behavior because she acts only to serve herself and does not care how her actions may affect anyone...