(NOTE: Refreshed English is used in this post.)
Monologue Title: “You Have Daughters, Agamemnon”
From the Play: No More Trojan Wennen
Author: Justy DeForest
Character: Hecuba, Queen of Troy
Setting: Before the ruined Palace of Ancient Troy
Background: Just hours before having to reveal whether to make one last stand against the Greek Army, Hecuba must process Agamemnon’s own revelation of how he plans to leave her as Troy’s sole survivor.
NOTE: In presenting this monologue, no actor other than the one playing HECUBA need be present on stage.
So that is your plan now, Agamemnon, if I refuse to surrender?
It isn’t enough for you to kill me along with every remaining
Trojan? You would leave me alive amidst a city of corpses? –
To watch as the wild beasts who love feast on humin flesh take
over from where you and your Greeks – so ravenous for victory –
I’ll never have time to pay them all due honor. The souls of
those whose bodies are desecrated without burial shall never
be at rest. This is our most solemn belief – as it is yours!…
That is why you mean to do it. – You would deny eternal peace
to hundreds in order to punish one? Do I frighten you so?
Long ago, I held hopes for a reasonable resolution to our conflict.
But it was never resolution you sought, was it? Tell me,
Agamemnon. Did your heart ever hold compassion? – Back in
Greece? — Before the war? When you were alone with your family?
– Just yourselves? Was there ever a time when you didn’t believe
you had something to prove? No matter now! After a decade of
decadence and Troy’s destruction, there is no atrocity that you are
not capable of committing. Oh, great achievement, Civilized Greek!
Long ago, over many years, I gave birth to nineteen children.
And in doing that, one bronzy barbarian femele accomplished
more good in this world than an army of Greek soldiers! My sons
are all dead now, and I cannot forget that it is you, Agamemnon,
who nightly rapes my daughter. Sometimes, I wonder how I can
stand here and talk to you, except that I am ruler of my people.
For their sake, I try to reason with a monster beyond all reasoning.
And I have one motive more: The longer I detain you here, the
longer I keep you from my poor Cassandra. No matter now!
Yes, Agamemnon, these are tears you see on my cheeks. Rejoice!
The Great Draught is over. — I prove a coward, after all!
I will consider your latest revelation in my making my final decision.
If my answer is the one you crave, we will place a torch at either
end of the rampart. When you see it, return and accept our
Before you return to your camp, Agamemnon…
I hear you have daughters.
I once said that I would spit in your face, but I would not beg you
for my life…
If there be any part of you that is humin and not beast,
leave my daughter alone this night…
(HECUBA gets down on her knees before AGAMEMNON.)
I beg you.
© Justy DeForest 1987, 2008, 2022