Voices from Troy Monologue 5B: Salt Tears Are Sweet Good-bye (Hecuba)

TRIGGER WARNING: This monologue contains references to sexual violence.

(NOTE: Refreshed English is used in this post.)

Monologue Title: “Salt Tears Are Sweet Good-bye”
From the Play: No More Trojan Wennen, Act I, Scene 1
Genre: Drama
Author: Justy DeForest
Character:  Hecuba, Queen of Troy

Setting:  Before the ruined Palace of Ancient Troy

Background:  Before the Trojan Wennen, Hecuba, Queen of Troy, grieves over the body of her great friend, Danisma, who has committed suicide after being violated by a Greek soldier. 

NOTE:  In presenting this monologue, no actor other than the one playing HECUBA need be present on stage.


Tell me, my friends, how gentleness can survive

 in a world with violence and not lose its color?

Oh, Danisma!  In your entire life, you never hurt

a soul until you turned pain upon yourself! 

My great friend, what had one of us experienced

that the other had not felt, too?  Ours was that special

friendship found only between those who share a gender.

No sentence needed completing between us! 

Together, we raised our children to adulthood. 

And then, from the parapet, together, we watched

as the Greeks razed them to the ground.  

Happiness or sorrow, we shared all. And was I

not there now to share your greatest grief? 

Forgive me. Forgive me, my friend!

You shall not go unmourned.

With my own arms grown strong with use,

I will lay your body on the bier. I will heap

the kindling for your funeral pyre myself.

With my own hands, I shall gather up your ashes

in a humble earthen urn so that you shall never be

violated again, and I will place them in the burial mound. 

And, then, as I pour the libations, let us both recall:

First, the milk that once flowed from our breasts

as we suckled our young.  

Next, the honey. — How the scent of honeysuckle

once filled the fields in Ilium’s spring. 

And then the wine. — All our celebrations. 

Remember those. Remember, my friend!

Salt tears are sweet good-bye.

Soon, away from them all,

I will bury you in tears!

© Justy DeForest 1987, 2008, 2021

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