(NOTE: Refreshed English is used in this post.)
Monologue Title: “Grief Must Find Expression”
From the Play: No More Trojan Wennen
Author: Justy DeForest
Character: Hecuba, Queen of Troy
Setting: Before the ruined Palace of Ancient Troy
Background: Thinking that Andromache’s current silence is a continuing reaction to the death of her beloved Hector in battle, Hecuba encourages her daughter-in-law to express grief openly, unaware that this stoicism masks a more immediate loss.
For Andromache’s reaction to Hecuba’s prompting, See Monologue 6, “Such Pretty Work,” on the Voices from Troy Series 1 link.
NOTE: In presenting this monologue, no actor other than the one playing HECUBA need be present on stage.
Andromache, grief must find expression.
Emotions are as the mammals of the sea
that, for a time, can remain below, content
to swim our very depths, safe from marauding
harpoons and those would do them sharp
insult above. Yet these shy swimmers need
to surface. — To heave that great breath in
open air, then know the relief of lungs relaxing.
To feel the sun upon their shiver and realize
that Heaven is not displeased to see them
venture forth from their hidden chamber, for
their true home is above, as well as below!
But great emotions that never surface deny
themselves their own life’s sustenance. — As
dolphins that remain submerged, fearing the
sailor’s spear soon learn: Failure to risk pain
brings pain, and an ache aborted is an ache
begot. They thrash and thrush and suffocate
in their own fear to reveal themselves. And
so the dolphins die, even where they lived!
Then do not do as these men who make
their face a fortress so that their very flesh
seems to turn to stone. You are a wenn! —
And yours is strength to show an emotion…
at least, to a friend.
© Justy DeForest 1987, 2008, 2021