(NOTE: Refreshed English is used in this post.)
Monologue Title: “The Manipulator”
From the Play: No More Trojan Wennen
Author: Justy DeForest
Character: Helen of Troy (Queen of Sparta)
Setting: Before the ruined Palace of Ancient Troy
Background: After being derided by Hecuba for attempting to cast herself as Paris’ unwilling captive, Helen decides to go the opposite route and embrace the role that her contemporaries have agreed upon for her — Manipulator of Men. This monologue follows immediately after Helen’s Monologue 6B: The Captive.
NOTE: In presenting this monologue, no actor other than the one playing HELEN need be present on stage.
Oh Hecuba, your legendary compassion is not without its limits!
Or is it just that you obstinately refuse to extend it to me?
It’s of no consequence now. The war is over, and it has brokered
or broken as many reputations as bodies. So let Helen of Troy –
Helen the Trollop! — offer you now that admission you have
waited a decadent decade to hear!
I determined to have Paris from the instant I laid eyes upon him.
So young and handsome he was — and, as it turns out, a much
more imaginative lover than my own prosaic consort, Menelaus.
I appreciate a man who can keep up to my satisfaction…even as
I am bringing him to his knees! Forget the arrows of Philoctetes.1
Beauty is the sharpest of weapons and the surest of shields.
And beauty serves me still! After all, your dear son, Paris, is now
ashes laid in an urn, whereas I am alive to return to Greece with
my ‘liege lord,’ Menelaus – the king whom I subjugated to my will
in our marriage bed. — Who simply cannot bring himself to pass
judgment upon one so fair of face, no matter how I humiliate him
…or with whom!
So when tomorrow comes, we, the happy couple reunited,
will begin our voyage home to Greece where I shall resume
my role as Queen of Sparta. And it will be as if these
troublesome Trojan years had never happened —
Your disapproving scowls, Hecuba,
The slights of sanctimonious Crown Princess Andromache,
The sneers of your pious Trojan Wennen,
Your own son’s puppy dog defiance…
All these shall be as mere diligences in a dream gone by!
And Prosperity will see me exactly as I truly was, Hecuba,
and realize that your son had it backwards:
Aphrodite did not give me to Paris. No! The Divine Feminine
gave Paris – and every other man alive – to me!
© Justy DeForest 1987, 2008, 2022
- Philoctetes: The Greek soldier who killed Paris in battle.