|Age Range(s)||Adult (36-50), Senior (>50)|
|Type of monologue / Character is||Persuasive, Gives orders, Praising|
|Description||Danaus thanks Argos for saving his daughters|
|Location||End of the play|
The play is about the Danaides fleeing their Egyptian cousins that claim them in marriage. The Danaides are the 50 daughters of Danaus, a Greek mythological character, son of the king of Egypt and brother of Aegyptus. They reach the city of Argos and ask their king for protection. The Egyptians send a messenger to try to persuade them to give themselves up to their cousins. The king of Argos, Pelasgus, confronts the messenger, threatens him and orders the Danaides to stay within his walls. The play ends with the Danaides being saved by the Argives. A thanksgiving is sung by the chorus. In this monologue, towards the end of the play, Danaus thanks the gods and the king of Argos for having saved his daughters. At the same time he urges his Danaides to keep their honor in the future and remain chaste.
Written by Administrator
High thanks, my children, unto Argos con,
And to this folk, as to Olympian gods,
Give offerings meet of sacrifice and wine;
For saviours are they in good sooth to you.
From me they heard, and bitter was their wrath,
How those your kinsmen strove to work you wrong,
And how of us were thwarted: then to me
This company of spearmen did they grant,
That honoured I might walk, nor unaware
Die by some secret thrust and on this land
Bring down the curse of death, that dieth not.
Such boons they gave me: it behoves me pay
A deeper reverence from a soul sincere.
Ye, to the many words of wariness
Spoken by me your father, add this word,
That, tried by time, our unknown company
Be held for honest: over-swift are tongues
To slander strangers, over-light is speech
To bring pollution on a stranger's name.
Therefore I rede you, bring no shame on me
Now when man's eye beholds your maiden prime.
Lovely is beauty's ripening harvest-field,
But ill to guard; and men and beasts, I wot,
And birds and creeping things make prey of it.
And when the fruit is ripe for love, the voice
Of Aphrodite bruiteth it abroad,
The while she guards the yet unripened growth.
On the fair richness of a maiden's bloom
Each passer looks, o'ercome with strong desire,
With eyes that waft the wistful dart of love.
Then be not such our hap, whose livelong toil
Did make our pinnace plough the mighty main:
Nor bring we shame upon ourselves, and joy
Unto my foes. Behold, a twofold home-
One of the king's and one the people's gift-
Unbought, 'tis yours to hold,-a gracious boon.
Go-but remember ye your sire's behest,
And hold your life less dear than chastity.