Voices from Troy Monologue 10: The Reckoning (Agamemnon)

Monologue Title:   “The Reckoning”
From the Play:  No More Trojan Wennen
Genre:   Drama
Author:  Justy DeForest
Character:  Agamemnon, Commander of Greek Forces

Setting:  In Agamemnon’s hut at the Greek Camp outside the ruins of Ancient Troy

Background:  After defeating Troy in a bitter ten-year war, the Greek Army is preparing to sail for home, anticipating what greeting they might expect from their families.  In the privacy of his hut, Agamemnon, Commander of Acadian Forces, speaks candidly to another Greek General, Odysseus, of the troubling circumstances under which he sailed to Troy.


What homecoming can I expect?
I killed my own daughter in order to sail to Troy. 
No other way would the gods grant me the winds,…
and I chose the winds!  A reasonable decision,
considering the “Greater Glory of Greece.” —  
Sacrifice one femele — a mere girl — to gain a city full! 
And each of these is some man’s daughter…
Some man’s daughter. 

I remember her eyes as I led her away. 
I, of all people, should have protected her!  There are
olive trees in my groves that I would not trust myself to prune.
Yet, when it came to Iphianassa, a seed of my own planting —
my first harvest — with my own hand I cut her down. 
Tell me, Odysseus, why should a man hesitate to destroy the world
once he has killed his own daughter? 

There have been times since, when I’d meet an opponent in battle —
for an instant — just before striking a lethal blow — I’d see her face
and catch myself shouting, “You are not she!”

And so is my history these past ten years,
that in every prize I gain I find no daughter,
yet each life I take is Iphianassa’s.  

© Justy DeForest 1987, 2008, 2021

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