Betrayal is a word from Middle English and it was originally bitrayen. There are many forms of betrayal, and it is common within a culture to have varying degrees of punishment for betrayal, most of which are rather severe as it is considered one of the more painful and unsympathetic acts a person may do.
Why betrayal is considered so severe?
Almost all betrayal involves some sort of premeditation, including if the betrayal is through an act of omittance. It involves using the trust that has been built up and earned for personal use or gain. The trust is often broken once the betrayal is clearly visible.
The severity of betrayal
It is considered a severe act because it is more than just lying. People may lie to gain trust in order to betray it, but the fact is that lying on its own merit is not as bad as betrayal. A person may lie to another without any form of trust existing, and the more trust that has built then the bigger the betrayal. There is often an amount of lying involved in a betrayal, though this is not always the case.
More unsympathetic than most crimes
A person may murder out of revenge or in order to help ease suffering, but since betrayal requires trust and the breaking of that trust, it is considered more unsympathetic. A person may understand a theft in order to feed a family, but people rarely understand a premeditated act of building trust in order to break that trust for personal gain.
If trust has been established, then even aiding the enemy of the one that trusts is still betrayal. It is also betrayal if one uses the trust of one person (or thing) in order to gain the trust of another person (or thing); the thing may be a company or even a country. The longer the trust is maintained after the betrayal, then the more severe the act of betrayal is.
After six years of marriage a woman may sleep with another man. This is a betrayal because there was a promise of monogamy, plus the implied emotions and feelings that are tied with the woman claiming she is in love are all part of promises based on trust. The woman says she has certain feelings of love to the point where she marries in a large symbolic gesture implying she intends to spend her live with just one man–both emotionally, physically and sexually. These are all the trust building elements, and the actual affair is the point of betrayal. Whether the man finds out or not, he has still been betrayed. The betrayal grows ever worse the longer the woman denies telling the man about her infidelity.
Betrayal is the act of building trust and then using that trust for personal gain. It often involves breaking the trust and often involves lying. Betrayal is anything that acts out of the interest of a something or someone when that something or someone has been lead to believe that would not happen.
Over the past few years, I have gained much knowledge about betrayal. I have come to believe that it is close to the worst thing that people can do to each other (besides murder), and it’s something that happens more and more as one grows older. By definition, betrayal can mean to be unfaithful, to deliver something to an enemy by treachery, or to desert a person in the time of need. Obviously, this can tell a person a couple of things. First of all, betrayal is a broad “subject,” and secondly, it is downright malicious.
The first example of betrayal that I have given is to be unfaithful. In my eyes, this is probably the worst form of betrayal. I think this because I have been cheated on and I know that the feeling one gets when he or she finds out about the affair is absolutely heart wrenching. At first, I went to pieces when I found out, but then I got over it and I forgave my boyfriend (at that time). Big mistake. He never stopped lying to me, and to this day he still does ,even though we aren’t together anymore. I guess I should have thought twice and listened to the popular saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater.”
The next example that I choose to represent betrayal was to deliver something to an enemy by treachery. Many people have experienced this, but the largest upset was most likely when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The Japanese government was trying to side with the Germans during World War II. The Japanese told the United States that they would not do anything, but then they bombed us, leaving our country open for anything that could come our way from the Germans. I think that is betrayal because the Japanese lied to our country. Although, I guess things turned out for the better in the end; our economy went up slightly and the Japanese were avenged…twice.
My last example of betrayal is to desert a person in the time of need. I believe that this instance is best depicted in “Hamlet,” a play by William Shakespeare. Prince Hamlet’s mother, uncle, and friends all desert him in his time of need, which was after his father’s death. This may sound quite confusing, but Claudius (Hamlet’s uncle) killed Hamlet’s father. Not even a month after the father’s death, Claudius and Queen Gertrude (Hamlet’s mother) are joined in wedlock. Nobody thought that Hamlet was sane because of everything that had happened to him. His friend’s weren’t very true to him and his mother wouldn’t believe that Claudius killed his father. For those reasons, I feel that everyone betrayed Hamlet in the sense that they deserted him in his special time of need.
As one can see, betrayal is a harshly wounding action. It can leave an imprint on a person’s heart for many years and it can also make them lose trust in loved ones. To be betrayed is to be completely deceived, and that is a hard thing to endure. I say this because I know it. It has happened to me and I will never forget it, but I have definitely overcome the pain.