(NOTE: Refreshed English is used in this post.)
Monologue Title: “The Pride of Menelaus”
From the Play: No More Trojan Wennen
Author: Justy DeForest
Character: Hecuba, Queen of Troy
Setting: On the Steps before the Palace of Ancient Troy
Background: After the defeat of the Trojan Army by the Greeks, Hecuba, Queen of Troy, tries to make sense of the events that have led up to the destruction of her city.
Oh Paris! Paris! Before your birth, I dreamt I’d bring
a firebrand into this world that would someday destroy
our city! Now I look on desperate eyes that look to me
and wonder am I to blame for refusing to slay my son
at birth to save us from this fate? — Dear Goddes!
Was I a tiger to devour my own cub?! —
Yet if I be at fault, the fault is not mine alone.
Several share the shame for bringing Troy to ashes!
Paris is to blame for his lust let loose towards another’s spouse.
Helen is to blame for abandoning her duty for a dalliance.
King Priam is to blame, who, despite my warning, insisted on
harboring our wayward son and his faithless paramour!
At each turn on our way to ruin, love cried out, ‘Lenity!’
until compassion, itself — as much as that devious Trojan Horse —
became the womb which issued forth Troy’s destruction!
But most of all, I blame Menelaus, King of Sparta!
Proud, yet prideless! — To travel across the Aegean
with a thousand ships and risk so much to win back
a spouse who had no love to give!
That country is betrayed whose ruler turns a private quarrel
into the nation’s argument! Yet such a one is Menelaus —
and his brother, Agamemnon, who spurred him on in this insanity!
Troy stands no more — and why? — For the vengeance
of a Spartan who waits outside the gates?! He could not
have acted out of love, for it is impossible to love a stone!
No, from sheer gall and ruined pride he acted, and Troy is destroyed!
I once cried to Olympus for justice! I once begged Apollo to hear me! Perhaps, the clashing of swords drowned out my prayers!
Perhaps, the will of the godden was our destruction.
It does not matter now.
The pride of Menelaus has wrecked the world!
© Justy DeForest 1983, 2009, 2021
Click on the link below to hear an mp3 voice recording of this monologue.