The wish for revenge

Psychoanal Q. 2006 Apr;75(2):447-75. doi: 10.1002/j.2167-4086.2006.tb00046.x.


The wish for revenge is a ubiquitous response to narcissistic injury, and particularly to the narcissistic injury that accompanies oedipal defeat. Vengeful fantasy serves to represent and manage rage and to restore the disrupted sense of self and internalized imagining audience that have resulted from injury. Clinical and literary examples demonstrate the split within the representation of the self and the imagining other that underlies the wish for revenge, and the way that this split operates differently in the psychic economy of the transiently and the chronically vengeful.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Anger
  • Attitude*
  • Countertransference
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Narcissism*
  • Obsessive Behavior / psychology
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychoanalytic Therapy / methods*
  • Social Behavior*