Female Monologues

  • “And for that matter I have no secrets.” – Julie from ‘Miss Julie’
    “And for that matter I have no secrets. You see, my mother was not of noble birth. She was brought up with ideas of equality, woman’s freedom and all that. She had very decided opinions against matrimony, and when my father courted her she declared that she would never be his wife—but she did so for all that. I came into the world against my mother’s wishes, I discovered, and was brought up like a child of nature by my mother, and taught everything that a boy must know as well; I was to be an example of a woman being as good as a man—I was made to go about in boy’s clothes and take care of the horses and harness and saddle and hunt, and all such things; in fact, all over the estate women servants were taught to do men’s work, with the result that the property came near being ruined—and so we became the laughing stock of the countryside. At last my father must have awakened from his bewitched condition, for he revolted, and ran things according to his ideas. My mother became ill—what it was I don’t know, but she often had cramps and acted queerly—sometimes hiding in the attic or the orchard, and would even be gone all night at times. Then came the big fire which of course you have heard about. The house, the stables—everything was burned, under circumstances that pointed strongly to an incendiary, for the misfortune happened the day after the quarterly insurance was due and the premiums sent in by father were strangely delayed by his messenger so that they arrived too late.”


    “Cremuel– tell the Ambassador of the bill you are bringing into Parliament.” – Anne Boleyn from ‘Wolf Hall’
    “Cremuel– tell the Ambassador of the bill you are bringing into Parliament. I wish it made clear to your     master, and to all Europe, that a bill is going through Parliament which settles the succession of England on my children. Mine. Not Katharine’s. When a son is born to me he shall succeed to the throne of England. And my daughters are and shall be royal princesses.
    Cremuel’s bill declares that Katharine’s child Mary is a bastard– she was never your wife, Henry, so the child you go on her is a bastard–is that not so, Cremuel? It’s not enough to put Mary out of the line of succession! It’s no good to me. I want her made a bastard. You bill will make her a bastard.
    You are worried about her cousin, the Emperor? You don’t want to provoke him? No? Then I shall provoke him for you. I shall tell you, Ambassador, what will happen to Mary. The Princess Elizabeth is to have her own household and the bastard Mary will join it as her servant. She will go on her knees to my daughter. And if she won’t bend her knee then she shall be beaten and buffeted until she does bend. She will call my daughter Princess, or I shall make her suffer.”


    “I went to the typing instructor and introduced myself as your mother.” – Amanda Wingfield from ‘The Glass Menagerie’
    “I went to the typing instructor and introduced myself as your mother. She didn’t know who you were. Wingfield, she said. We don’t have any such student enrolled at the school! I assured her she did, that you had been going to classes since early in January. ‘I wonder,’ she said, ‘if you could be talking about that terribly shy little girl who dropped out of school after only a few days’ attendance?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘Laura, my daughter, has been going to school every day for the past six weeks!’ ‘Excuse me,’ she said. She took the attendance book out and there was your name, unmistakably printed, and all the dates you were absent until they decided that you had dropped out of school. I still said, ‘No, there must have been some mistake I There must have been some mix‐up in the records!’ And she said, ‘No – I remember her perfectly now. Her hands shook so that she couldn’t hit the right keys! The first time we gave a speed‐test, she broke down completely ‐ was sick at the stomach and almost had to be carried into the wash‐room! After that morning she never showed up any more. We phoned the house but never got any answer’ – while I was working at Famous and Barr, I suppose, demonstrating those – Oh! I felt so weak I could barely keep on my feet! I had to sit down while they got me a glass of water! Fifty dollars’ tuition, all of our plans – my hopes and ambition for you – just gone up the spout, just gone up the spout like that.”


    “Oh, my sins….” – Lyuba Ranevsky from ‘The Cherry Orchard’
    “Oh, my sins…. I’ve always scattered money about without holding myself in, like a madwoman, and I married a man who made nothing but debts. My husband died of champagne—he drank terribly—and to my misfortune, I fell in love with another man and went off with him, and just at that time—it was my first punishment, a blow that hit me right on the head—here, in the river… my boy was drowned, and I went away, quite away, never to return, never to see this river again…I shut my eyes and ran without thinking, but he ran after me… without pity, without respect. I bought a villa near Mentone because he fell ill there, and for three years I knew no rest either by day or night; the sick man wore me out, and my soul dried up. And last year, when they had sold the villa to pay my debts, I went away to Paris, and there he robbed me of all I had and threw me over and went off with another woman. I tried to poison myself…. It was so silly, so shameful…. And suddenly I longed to be back in Russia, my own land, with my little girl…. [Wipes her tears] Lord, Lord be merciful to me, forgive me my sins! Punish me no more! [Takes a telegram out of her pocket] I had this to-day from Paris…. He begs my forgiveness, he implores me to return…. [Tears it up] Don’t I hear music? [Listens.]”