But first it helps to understand some external qualities that are involved. Let us set aside fairy tales and use the sturdy template of Greek mythology once again. The quality of vengeance and retribution was personified by the Greeks in the deity Nemesis. The force that summoned Nemesis to work was usually arrogance, called hubris. The players in our timeline, as everyone else, sought the company of the goddess of luck and success, Tykhe, rather than Nemesis. Here are a few charming details...
Nemesis (sometimes called fate) - in classical mythology, Nemesis was the Goddess of Divine Retributive Justice or Vengeance. Written with a small letter, the term means a rival or opponent who cannot be overcome. It also means any situation or condition that one cannot change or triumph over and an agent or act of punishment.
The term is from the Greek nemesis, meaning “retribution” and nemein, meaning “to deal out” or “dispense.”
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macduff is the nemesis of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
[Nemesis:] A Greek goddess unsuccessfully pursued by Zeus. But most of her actions are simply connected with retribution, the ‘unescapable’ punishment of human presumption.
hubris [hew‐bris] or hybris, the Greek word for ‘insolence’ or ‘affront’, applied to the arrogance or pride of the protagonist in a tragedy in which he or she defies moral laws or the prohibitions of the gods. The protagonist's transgression or hamartia leads eventually to his or her downfall, which may be understood as divine retribution or nemesis. Hubris is commonly translated as ‘overweening (i.e. excessively presumptuous) pride’. In proverbial terms, hubris is thus the pride that comes before a fall.
The general connotation of the pride that goes before a fall is a later, and partially Christian reinterpretation of the classical concept. In Aristotle (Rhetoric 1378b 23-30) hubris is gratuitous insolence: the deliberate infliction of shame and dishonour on someone else, not by way of revenge, but in the mistaken belief that one thereby shows onself superior. Tragedy is not therefore the punishment of hubris, since tragedy concerns unjust suffering, whereas hubris deprives the agent of sympathy from the outset.