|Age Range(s)||Young Adult (20-35), Adult (36-50)|
|Type of monologue / Character is||In love, Depressed, Lamenting, Frustrated|
|Description||She explains to He why she hurt him|
|Location||One Act play|
This one act play has only two characters, He and She. Right at the beginning of the play He tells She his desire to end their relationship. In this monologue She explains to He why she acted the way she did with him, hurting him. She felt she was the only one that truly fell in love with the other and was cruel to him in order to shatter his strength and self-confidence. The monologue is intercut with He's dialogue.
Written by Administrator
|SHE: I know you hate me. You have a right to. Not just because I was faithless--but because I was cruel. I don't want to excuse myself--but I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't realize I was hurting you.|
[HE: We've gone over that a thousand times.]
SHE: Yes. I've said that before. And you've answered me that that excuse might hold for the first time, but not for the second and the third. You've convicted me of deliberate cruelty on that. And I've never had anything to say. I couldn't say anything, because the truth was ... too preposterous. It wasn't any use telling it before. But now I want you to know the real reason.
[HE: A new reason, eh?]
SHE: Something I've never confessed to you. Yes. It is true that I was cruel to you--deliberately. I did want to hurt you. And do you know why? I wanted to shatter that Olympian serenity of yours. You were too strong, too self-confident. You had the air of a being that nothing could hurt. You were like a god.
[HE: That was a long time ago. Was I ever Olympian? I had forgotten it. You succeeded very well--you shattered it in me.]
SHE: You are still Olympian. And I still hate you for it. I wish I could make you suffer now. But I have lost my power to do that.
[HE: Aren't you contented with what you have done? It seems to me that I have suffered enough recently to satisfy even your ambitions.]
SHE: No--or you couldn't talk like that. You sit there--making phrases. Oh, I have hurt you a little; but you will recover. You always recovered quickly. You are not human. If you were human, you would remember that we once were happy, and be a little sorry that all that is over. But you can't be sorry. You have made up your mind, and can think of nothing but that.
[HE: That's an interesting--and novel--explanation.]
SHE: I wonder if I can't make you understand. Paul--do you remember when we fell in love?
[HE: Something of that sort must have happened to us.]
SHE: No--it happened to me. It didn't happen to you. You made up your mind and walked in, with the air of a god on a holiday. It was I who fell--headlong, dizzy, blind. I didn't want to love you. It was a force too strong for me. It swept me into your arms. I prayed against it. I had to give myself to you, even though I knew you hardly cared. I had to--for my heart was no longer in my own breast. It was in your hands, to do what you liked with. You could have thrown it in the dust.
[HE: This is all very romantic and exciting, but tell me--did I throw it in the dust?]
SHE: It pleased you not to. You put it in your pocket. But don't you realize what it is to feel that another person has absolute power over you? No, for you have never felt that way. You have never been utterly dependent on another person for happiness. I was utterly dependent on you. It humiliated me, angered me. I rebelled against it, but it was no use. You see, my dear, I was in love with you. And you were free, and your heart was your own, and nobody could hurt you.
[HE: Very fine--only it wasn't true, as you soon found out.]
SHE: When I found it out, I could hardly believe it. It wasn't possible. Why, you had said a thousand times that you would not be jealous if I were in love with some one else, too. It was you who put the idea in my head. It seemed a part of your super-humanness.
[HE: I did talk that way. But I wasn't a superman. I was only a damned fool.]
SHE: And Paul, when I first realized that it might be hurting you--that you were human after all--I stopped. You know I stopped.
[HE: Yes--that time.]
SHE: Can't you understand? I stopped because I thought you were a person like myself, suffering like myself. It wasn't easy to stop. It tore me to pieces. But I suffered rather than let you suffer. But when I saw you recover your serenity in a day while the love that I had struck down in my heart for your sake cried out in a death agony for months, I felt again that you were superior, inhuman--and I hated you for it.
[HE: Did I deceive you so well as that?]
SHE: And when the next time came, I wanted to see if it was real, this godlike serenity of yours. I wanted to tear off the mask. I wanted to see you suffer as I had suffered. And that is why I was cruel to you the second time.
[HE: And the third time--what about that?]
[She bursts into tears, and sinks to the floor, with her head on the chair, sheltered by her arms. Then she looks up.]
SHE: Oh, I can't talk about that--I can't. It's too near.
[HE: I beg your pardon. I don't wish to show an unseemly curiosity about your private affairs.]
SHE: If you were human, you would know that there is a difference between one's last love and all that have gone before. I can talk about the others--but this one still hurts.
[HE: I see. Should we chance to meet next year, you will tell me about it then. The joys of new love will have healed the pains of the old.]
SHE: There will be no more joy or pain of love for me. You do not believe that. But that part of me which loves is dead. Do you think I have come through all this unhurt? No. I cannot hope any more, I cannot believe. There is nothing left for me. All I have left is regret for the happiness that you and I have spoiled between us. . . . Oh, Paul, why did you ever teach me your Olympian philosophy? Why did you make me think that we were gods and could do whatever we chose? If we had realized that we were only weak human beings, we might have saved our happiness!