Voices from Troy Monologue 8B: Grief Must Find Expression (Hecuba)

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

Monologue Title: “Grief Must Find Expression”
From the Play: No More Trojan Wennen
Genre: Drama
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

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