Betrayal is a very evident theme in Garret Knight’s translation of Andre Labels work, The Romance of the Farer Melamine. To betray someone is further defined as “being disloyal or false to someone. ” (Free Online Dictionary) Although the description sounds like an overall awful and painful experience to be on the receiving end of, when one is betrayed by someone that is not significant to them, the pain pales in comparison to that caused by a betrayal by a family member, lover, or friend. Jungian
Analyst James Hillman once wrote “We can be truly betrayed only where we trust-by brothers, lovers, wives, husbands, not by enemies, not by strangers. The greater the love and loyalty, the involvement and commitment, the greater the betrayal. ” This quote is proven over the course of the story through the various trials and tribulations of the two protagonists, Melamine and Raymond. Although the reader is led to believe that Melamine and Raymond have much love for each other, they have an interesting way of showing it.
The both betray each other in a very major way. Raymond breaks the most important promise that he ever made to Melamine. She makes him promise to never “try to see [her] in any way whatever, nor to seek to know where [she] [is]” (Knight, 27) any Saturday after sundown. Raymond breaks the promise by deciding to spy on her one Saturday night. He does so because his brother, the Count of Force made him suspicious. He claims that there have been many rumors stating that every Saturday night, Melamine is “in the arms of another”.
Knight, 1 1 1) This greatly angers Raymond and he feels as if he has been stabbed in the back by his own brother, but at the same time starts to wonder if the rumors have some type of validity. He seeks her out and finds something very unexpected. He sees that she has been turned from the waist down into a serpent. Because of this situation, both lovers have betrayed each other. Melamine never mentioned this shocking fact about her life and Raymond broke a very important promise that he made to his wife.
Both had valid reasons, Rounding’s being the suspicions in his mind and Melamine’s being the curse she was put under. Nonetheless these two betrayals, each from someone that the person being betrayed cares greatly for, cause an intense amount of pain. Raymond feels such agony knowing that “he himself hats] broken [his marriage], exposed it, destroyed it! ” (Knight, 126) Furthermore, Melamine whispers “Ah! If I could only die now! ” (Knight, 128) Melamine knew the moment that she caught Raymond spying on her that their relationship would ever be the same and that their marriage would as a result, ultimately end.
This would most definitely be an example of a betrayal such as the one that James Hillman was referring to in his quote. In contrast to those two betrayals, is another, that although is very angering for the betrayed, causes little pain. Rounding’s father, Henry De Leon was betrayed and banished, losing all his lands and wealth, by Selling du Pont. Raymond travels to Brittany to challenge Du Pont for his father’s honor. He aggressively calls upon Selling “to admit [his] crime! Knight, 87) The feeling felt by the reader at this time is one of anger from Raymond and not one of pain or sorrow. He is not hurt, but wants to defend his family’s honor. Raymond defeats Du Point’s son and even after defeating him decides to have him and his father hanged. Through with his decision even after Selling admits his crime. In conclusion, this story proves that you can truly only be betrayed when you care deeply for someone. Both Raymond and Melamine were the victims of this type of betrayal.
When you truly love someone, you give them all that you have and you expect the same in return. To be betrayed instead, is something that can be extremely hard to get over. I hope that in my life I will never have to face as much pain as these two lovers did, and that if I do, I will find the strength and courage to overcome it. As the great English poet, painter and inventor, William Blake once said: “It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend. ” This quote is brought to life by The Romance of the Farer Melamine.