Et tu, Brute?

It’s the Ides of March, the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of conspirators. The date is meaningful to me because it makes me think of betrayal as a concept used in movies, books, etc. When Caesar was assassinated, one of his friends, Marcus Junius Brutus, was among those against him. The line, “Et tu, Brute?” comes from Shakespeare and was supposedly Caesar’s last words when he had resigned himself to his fate.

Friends betray friends for a variety of different reasons; not all of them justified. Maybe they’re trying to impress someone else, or get in good with a certain group of people. Maybe they betray you because they weren’t really your friends at all and they were just pretending the entire time.

I think that might be the worst type of betrayal: Someone claims to be your friend. They spend time with you, hang out with you, share memories with you, and bring you into their life. Then they drop you like a ton of bricks, seemingly out of nowhere. Later on, you find out from someone else that your “friend” was never really your friend and in fact, highly disliked you – possibly even hated you. They were only pretending to be your friend so they could have something you had or because being friends with you gave them some kind of advantage.

I’m pretty sure Julius Caesar’s assassination wasn’t really like that at all, but the Ides of March makes me think of betrayers. It makes me think of trusting people in whom we should never have placed our trust in the first place. Betrayal is painful. But forgiveness is the key. Yes, it’s difficult, but it can be achieved with time and with love.

Sic semper tyrannis.

7 thoughts on “Et tu, Brute?

  1. That’s quite ironic when me and a friend are going through a similar process (but there wasn’t really any betrayal). Yes, forgiveness is the key.

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  2. Good one.
    But, allow me to point out that not every “betrayal” is a perpetration.
    Most of what passes for bad or evil behavior is simply person not thinking.
    I always hesitate to assign meaning to the behavior of others. It takes a lot of work to be evil, but none at all to be careless.

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    1. You always put things in perspective for me, Rik. 🙂 Like a lot of things, betrayal can sometimes be a matter of perception. Betrayal to one person can be carelessness or thoughtlessness to another.

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  3. Betrayal is awful. I don’t know if it’s possible to forgive all, sometimes, we just have to walk away for good and put it all behind us and that is the best we can do in some situations.

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  4. People are masters of pretense, Maggie. And “like” turns to “dislike” as soon as the Ego doesn’t get what it wants.

    When people are sneaky, deceitful, two-faced, duplicitous, or otherwise “beat around the bush” rather than ”telling it like it is,” I no longer want to be around them. Passing insincere platitudes back and forth is a waste of time and energy.

    People excuse their daily dishonesty with more little lies like, “I was just trying to be nice,” or “I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.”

    Really?!

    In most cases, people like that are not really protecting the other party to the conversation, they are protecting themselves. Instead of telling the truth and being honest, they say what they think the other person wants to hear out of selfish self-preservation.

    They want to be liked for being someone they are not . . . rather than run the risk of being disliked for who they are.

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    1. All that you said is true. And it’s a shame that humanity is like this. Being truthful requires more practice and is more difficult than making up a spur-of-the-moment lie… but in the end, the truth will come out.

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