Free Essay Sample. Role of Vigilantism

Published: 2023-07-30
Free Essay Sample. Role of Vigilantism
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Violence Criminal law Movie Criminal justice
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 905 words
8 min read

Vigilantism describes the actions of a single person or a group of people who enforce the law without having the legal authority to do so whereby they take the law into their own hands. It can also mean a state of lawlessness erupting from different competing groups all claiming to enforce the law. This usually happens when a group of people, believe that the law is either slow or not taking action against alleged criminals and decide to take action to remedy the situation.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Does the vigilante have the moral authority to act and why?

Vigilantism in U.S. law is not illegal but the actions involved are often illegal. Vigilantes are however not legally justified but are at times morally justified in their attempt to provide justice and order where the criminal justice system has failed in a social breach. Circumstances under which they be morally justified include; where there is a breakdown in the legal justice system, in protecting vulnerable persons in society, advancing justice, restoring social issues/justice, and where proportional punishments are issued as in law among others.

Who do you think the movie portrays as the "good" characters that the audience should support and why?

The good characters are Quan and Robert McCall who are the superheroes in the movies and play the role of the vigilante in asserting justice for their loved ones and the helpless in a legal system that is full of secrets and corrupt.

At what point do the vigilante's actions make them as bad as the criminals?

The vigilante's actions which involve taking actions into their own hands at times are revenge based and may be done in bad faith. Such actions include torture of their victims, destruction of property, and murder of innocent people that are in proximity or related to their victims among others.

Why does the audience support the vigilante?

The audience normally supports the vigilante as he/she is portrayed as a superhero that fights for justice for those who are disadvantaged or lack means of accessing legal justice. At times, the corrupt nature of the legal justice system which at times fails to punish criminals exposes their victims to more danger which leaves them more vulnerable to harm. The vigilante, therefore, fills the gap and offers a proportional punishment for the crime committed.

What is justice and how does the definition fit into the movie?

Justice implies punishing wrong actions or words and safeguarding that which is good for a safer society for all. Justice involves people behaving in a manner that is fair, balanced, and equal for everyone in accordance to law and ethics. It is categorized into four; legal, social, distributive, and commutative.

In The Foreigner, Quan relentlessly tries to find justice and revenge for his only teenage daughter after she dies in a bomb explosion that is politically motivated. He does all he can to fetch out the terrorists and bring them to justice.

In the Equalizer movie, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) acts as an avenging angel for the helpless in society by using his skills to bring down gangsters and terrorists. This occurs when he meets Teri; a teenager who has been brutalized by his boyfriends and members of his gang. These brutal events cause him to fight for justice.

Where is the line between victim and vigilante and why is it important?

A victim is a person who has been injured, harmed, or even killed as a result of a criminal action taking place whereas a vigilante is a person who attempts to find justice for the so-called "victim" by observing and taking action to punish the offender(s) involved without legal authority. It is important to draw the line between the victim and the vigilante as the victim feels the actual physical pain whereas the vigilante inflicts pain on his/her purported targets of revenge and justice.

What feelings do you have about the vigilante at the end and why?

Feelings of righteous anger arise in watching these movies in that victims of criminal gangs and politically motivated acts of terrorism suffer a lot of pain induced on them and their families and one cannot help but support the vigilante in their attempt to bring justice in a broken down legal system. The proportional punishment that equates to the form of criminal activity makes me feel better as if I was in the place of the helpless victim.

Why are movies about vigilantes so popular?

Movies about vigilantes are so popular as they are action-filled and intriguing, often carrying out a lot of violence which presents an attractive fantasy for their audience. The storyline in these movies is about individuals or groups of people who right wrongs which are appealing to human nature.

What are the differences between different vigilantes and why do those differences matter to the theme of the movie?

The differences between different vigilantes stem from the motivation behind their course of action. Vigilantes come in different forms where there are those whose aim is to restore order and justice while for others; they cause and inflict suffering in the society through murders, robberies, enslaving their victims, and so on. The themes of the movies are both righting wrongs and revenge for their loved ones and the helpless in a society where they encounter other vigilante groups whose activities are to harm and cause injury to others through acts of terrorism and other forms of abuse.

Cite this page

Free Essay Sample. Role of Vigilantism. (2023, Jul 30). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism