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In both King Arthur and His Knights and The Tempest the two central characters, King Arthur and Prospero, have had their share of treachery throughout text and the two reacted similarly to being betrayed.

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Introduction

Betrayal can work in many ways, and subsequently, can have a prominent impact on a person. One may react to it in different ways depending on the severity of the treachery. King Arthur and His Knights by Thomas Malory and The Tempest by William Shakespeare revolve around personal development of characters and the way betrayal affected their personality. In both texts, deceit resulted in two main forms, in vengeance and in forgiveness. This can be illustrated by closely examining the situations wherein the characters have been betrayed and by analyzing their reaction. Betrayal can impact a person so negatively that they turn to vengeance as a final solution. In King Arthur and His Knights, Sir Lancelot betrayed the trust of King Arthur by having a secret affair with his wife, Queen Guinevere. As a result King Arthur choses revenge against Sir Lancelot to deal with his betrayal. King Arthur says, "... I shall never have rest of him till I have destroyed Sir Lancelot's kin and himself both, other else he is to destroy me," (173). King Arthur is devastated by Sir Lancelot's act of infidelity that he starts a war to retrieve his wife Queen Guinevere from Sir Lancelot's hold. In addition, Kind Arthur wants to destroy Lancelot's 'kin' as well as 'himself'. His anger and hatred of Sir Lancelot causes him to be a murderer by wanting to slaughter Lancelot's family anyone that he is close to. ...read more.

Middle

Lancelot was attempting to save Queen Guinevere's life and in the heat of the battle he accidently slayed Sir Gareth. Sir Gawain was infuriated when he found out, and thought Lancelot had purposely killed his brother and he felt Lancelot had betrayed his trust as well as his passed brother's. In the same ways Prospero did not think he was taking away Caliban's island but rather benefiting Caliban of his stay. Caliban did not feel the same way, and if only Prospero carefully considered his actions, Caliban would have never wanted to act upon his betrayal and try to rape Miranda and kill Prospero. Betrayal, however severe, can result in a person making ruthless decisions based upon anger and hatred and it can cause unforeseeable consequences such as vengeance, which could damage a person's life endlessly. Forgiveness in an important virtue within a person and it is tested when one has been betrayed. Dame Elaine, who was in love with Sir Lancelot, tricked him to think that she was Queen Guinevere. After Sir Lancelot and Elaine spent the night together, he is enraged to find out the morning after that it was not his beloved Guinevere but a strange girl he had never met. Their conversation goes as follows: "Ah, false traitress! Why has thou betrayed me? Tell me, anon," said Sir Lancelot, "What thou art." ...read more.

Conclusion

Betrayal leads to forgiveness because vengeance, anger and hatred is short lived and people tend to realize that to move in a relationship is better than to stay in one stationary, miserable position. As human beings we are not impeccable, we are selfish, inconsiderate, ill-mannered and occasionally tend to betray the ones we love most. Betraying a person and being betrayed is natural part of life, however the way one reacts to these situations differs. In both King Arthur and His Knights and The Tempest the two central characters, King Arthur and Prospero, have had their share of treachery throughout text and the two reacted similarly to being betrayed. They reacted with first anger, hatred and vengeance however, they both learned the errors of their ways and their betrayal resulted in mercifulness, kindness and forgiveness. The ways in which King Arthur and Prospero reacted to betrayal are the ways that many people react to betrayal or in turn life itself. How one reacts to deceit accurately portrays the true character that exists. Once one has seen the true image of themselves, they can both move on and carry forth life as if nothing had happen, they can completely change their image or they can learn from the experience and transform for the better. Betrayal, however unfortunate it turns out to be, is a necessary part of our lives because it both strengths our defences and then allows us to lower them to accept and appreciate the real meanings of life. ...read more.

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