Finding Treachery

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Finding Treachery

Two very different plays can have elements that make them comparable but also very different. In Clean House and Betrayal we see that the spouses from these plays are being confronted with a dishonest act, causing each to take a look at their relationships in a new light. As these characters learn of this devious behavior, we see that people can react to the same situations differently. Clean House and Betrayal have the element of unfaithfulness and from the two plays, Robert of Betrayal and Lane of Clean House react to learning their spouse has deceived them differently.

In Betrayal, Robert finds out from his wife, Emma that she has been cheating on him for years with his best friend on a vacation to Italy. As Emma is telling Robert, he does not react as though he is surprised, or even cares. As Emma informs Robert he comments “Ah. Yes. I thought it might be something like that…” (84). After Emma discusses the details of her and Jerry’s relationship, Robert responds “I’ve always liked Jerry. To be honest, I’ve always liked him rather more than I’ve liked you. Maybe I should have had an affair with him myself” (87). Robert takes this information and does not confront Jerry during a lunch they share after returning from vacation. Robert mentions playing squash with Jerry and Jerry comments that it is a violent game. Even here, Robert seems to care more about his relationship with Jerry than he does with his wife, Emma. Robert is passive aggressive and although he knows that Jerry has been sleeping with his wife, he does not tell Jerry that he knows until much later. As Robert finally tells Jerry that he has known about his relationship with Emma, there is still no caring reaction from Robert. Jerry seems more upset at the fact that Robert did not tell him about his affair. Robert may have not reacted to finding this out because he was being unfaithful as well, however, his reaction is to almost let it go, as though he never knew in the...
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