OpinionWeekend

Weekend Words: Betrayal

Joos van Winghe, "Delilah’s Betrayal and Samson’s Imprisonment by the Philistines" (c.1580), oil on canvas, on oak, 95.67 x 124.21 in (Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf) (image via Wikimedia Commons)
Joos van Winghe, “Delilah’s Betrayal and Samson’s Imprisonment by the Philistines” (c.1580), oil on canvas, on oak, 95.67 x 124.21 in (Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf) (image via Wikimedia)

The arts are never far from reach, even at the scuzziest of murder trials. This week, after the conviction of South Boston’s James (Whitey) Bulger on 31 of 32 charges against him, including 11 murders, a criminal defense lawyer invoked one of Giacomo Puccini’s tragic operas as he told The New York Times: “The depth of depravity is stunning — the killing of weak people, the women, the treachery against their own friends, shooting them in the back of the head … It’s almost Toscaesque in terms of the treachery that went on, and in the end, everyone winds up dead.”

“Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?”

—Jean Renoir

“To betray, you must first belong.”

—Kim Philby (British intelligence officer and Soviet spy)

“We have to distrust each other. It’s our only defense against betrayal.”

—Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

—Anais Nin, Winter of Artifice

“He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.”

—Sigmund Freud

“If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.”

—E. M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy

“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.”

—Arthur Miller

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