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quotations about betrayal

Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side.

BARBARA KINGSOLVER, The Poisonwood Bible

It would take too long to explain the intimate alliance of contradictions in human nature which makes love itself wear at times the desperate shape of betrayal. And perhaps there is no possible explanation.

JOSEPH CONRAD, Some Reminiscences

As a rule the person found out in a betrayal of love holds, all the same, the superior position of the two. It is the betrayed one who is humiliated.

ADA LEVERSON, Love's Shadow

Betrayal can only happen if you love.

JOHN LE CARRÉ, A Perfect Spy

Anyone who hasn’t experienced the ecstasy of betrayal knows nothing about ecstasy at all.

JEAN GENET, Prisoner of Love

When one does another person an injustice, in some mysterious way it does one good to discover (or to persuade oneself) that the injured party has also behaved badly or unfairly in some little matter or other; it is always a relief to the conscience if one can apportion some measure of guilt to the person one has betrayed.

STEFAN ZWEIG, Beware of Pity

We have to distrust each other. It is our only defence against betrayal.


Betrayal does that -- betrays the betrayer.

ERICA JONG, Becoming Light

Each betrayal begins with trust.

PHISH, Farmhouse

We forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.

ROBERT GRAVES, The White Goddess

No one who has ever known what it is to lose faith in a fellow-man whom he has profoundly loved and reverenced, will lightly say that the shock can leave the faith in the Invisible Goodness unshaken. With the sinking of high human trust, the dignity of life sinks too; we cease to believe in our own better self, since that also is part of the common nature which is degraded in our thought; and all the finer impulses of the soul are dulled.


It is hard, I found, to be called traitor. Strange how hard it is, for it's an easy name to call another man.

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

No one ever really pays for betrayal in silver.... The price of any betrayal always comes due in flesh.

STEPHEN KING, The Gunslinger

Betray a friend, and you'll often find you have ruined yourself.

AESOP, Fables

Better ask questions before you shoot,
Deceit and betrayal's bitter fruit.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, "Lonesome Day", The Rising

Be certain that he who has betrayed thee once will betray thee again.



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