Study Guide

Clarissa Revenge

By Samuel Richardson


There are people who love not your brother, because of his natural imperiousness and fierce and uncontrollable temper […] (1.6)

James is the type to avenge himself for the smallest slight, so it's weird that he doesn't seem that bugged after Lovelace seduces Clarissa, right? What's up with that?

How lately did I think I hated him!—But hatred and anger, I see, are but temporary passions with me (212.2)

Clarissa's smart enough to cool herself down before taking any rash action. She knows it won't do much good to get hot and bothered—and she doesn't have much recourse for revenge, anyway. That's something only men seem able to do. 

Then may I be accursed, if I willingly submit to be trampled under foot by enemies! (215.13)

You have to hand it to Lovelace: he's done so many bad things that he's always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Live by the sword (<em>penis</em>), die by the sword, apparently. 

What—what—what now!—bounding villain! Wouldst thou choke me! (224.7)

Don't look now, but Lovelace is talking to himself. Okay, so he's talking to his heart—he's worried that it's not on board with his evil actions. Weird. It's almost like his heart is taking revenge on his body. 

Had I been her brother, her violation must have been followed by the blood of one of us (258.5)

It's a good thing Belford's not Clarissa's brother—or maybe it's too bad, because then Clarissa wouldn't have had to wait for an entire book to get revenge. The way Belford tells it, he only has to seek revenge if a blood relation is wronged.

Oh Lovelace! Lovelace! Had I doubted it before, I should now be convinced that there must be a world after this, to do justice to injured merit, and to punish such a barbarous perfidy! (258.10)

We don't get to hear much about how Lovelace will be punished in hell, but Belford's not afraid to take it to a dark place.

I understand that thou breathest nothing but revenge against me, for treating thee with so much freedom; and against the accursed woman and her infernal crew (493.1)

Lovelace is crying revenge to everyone, but he can't seem to take responsibility for his own awful actions. Maybe he should take revenge on himself, hm?

Oh cursed by every careless devil!—May this or worse be their fate, every one of them! (499.15)

Sounds like <em>someone</em> up there's got it in for Mrs. Sinclair. Before she peaces out, she makes sure to curse everyone in her brothel. You know, just for good measure. If someone's going to take revenge on her, she's going to make sure that everyone gets in on the revenge action. 

Thou sayest thou wouldst have saved the lady from the ruin she met with (516.11)

Lovelace wants revenge on Belford for failing to save Clarissa. Sure, dude, <em>that </em>makes sense. Since you're the one who ruined her and all that. 

I have heard, with a great deal of surprise, that you have thought fit to throw some menacing expressions against me (534.11)

Oh, Lovelace has heard correctly. After all this time, why is he so surprised that Morden wants revenge? Does he think Clarissa's family is just going to go, welp, our daughter is disgraced and dead, nbd?

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