Allowing Evil to Triumph
'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' (Edmund Burke). In order to stop evil and malicious acts from occurring, the people whose responsibility it is to enforce the laws must step up and stop these terrible acts. By ignoring the evil and not attempting to stop the evil, the good can harm themselves or other innocent people. If there is no resistance to evil, it is just like a football team allowing a player to score a touchdown without trying to tackle the player with the ball. In each case, it is extremely easy for one side to overcome the other. Therefore, by not exerting any effort to oppose the evil, the good are just inviting the evil to do as they wish.
Being one of the themes of the poem The Hangman, this quotation can be related to the actions of the Hangman and the people he killed.
Once the Hangman began killing, nobody tried to step up and stop the Hangman (except for one person who was killed). In this case, the good men did not attempt to stop the evil. As a consequence for this lack of action, each person was killed because he serves the Hangman best. The way in which the good served the Hangman was by letting the evil triumph over the town. If a group had attempted to stop the Hangman, he could have possibly been stopped. Because only one person attempted to stop the evil, those who kept quiet were killed for helping the Hangman without realizing it. If the good men do nothing and make no attempt to halt the evil, then the evil will triumph as a result of this lack of action.