Always Ridiculous – Monologue (Eugenio)

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 A monologue from the play by Jose Echegarary

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Poet Lore, Volume XXVII, Summer 1916, Number III.


“Personal” “Most Urgent” “Senor Don Juan De Vargas.” Of that there’s no doubt–and it’s the writing of Teresa. Come now, calm! Very calm! [Pause.] Now I’m beginning to see clearly–but at first–I felt a wave of blood–

immense, without end, which suddenly mounted to my head and broke in red foam at my eyes, and all–all red–even Maria. Poor Maria. She ran away terrified. She said I struck her–I couldn’t have–Christ–to strike a child–

my child–no, not children–not any child. Now–to think it out quietly. I must know many things. If it was only one! But there are so many! And they mingle, they twine in and out. 

They tangle themselves, they writhe and twist like a knot of vipers. Ah, tell the vipers not to make those tangled masses, those writhing knots, that dark, gleaming net work of flattened heads and cold bodies which coils and uncoils itself. 

No–no–not this–my thoughts are running wild, and I’m not thinking about the things that I should. It’s because the abyss–the abyss–I know it’s very close–and I don’t want to go near it–not so soon. 

It’s better not so soon. Ah! My head! My head! Now it’s lead, now fire, now dark–dark–black. Ah!–to have a head filled and overflowing with ideas so vile. No–no–out! Out! Quiet, quiet. 

[He walks to and fro in an agitated manner making a gesture as if throwing ideas from him.] What! Am I not a man! Am I a coward! A miserable, ridiculous thing? Straight! in this World the honorable man looks straight–

straight at loyal friend–straight at traitor, straight at good and evil–at Satan and at God. Ah–to think of this! [Takes out the letter.] This envelope–the envelope–this envelope, it was for this letter? 

Now it’s said–now the question’s asked. Impossible! It’s Teresina. It’s not impossible. When there’s a being as miserable as I who thinks such infamy, there must be a woman who could do it. Ah! Ah! 

If you carry corruption in the mind, soon it flows silently into the heart. Yet it may be that I’m crazy. It would be better that way. But there’s no reason for darkening the mind. [Putting the letter in the envelope.] How well it fits–like the ring on the hand of a wife.

[Laughs.] As dishonor mates with betrayal. Now–to crush it–as if it were Juan. [Crushes it.] If this were a wild madness of mine–what a horrible profanation! It would deserve–to be true. 

But if it’s true–what do they deserve for being vile and I for being a fool–what does the Universe deserve for creating such creatures. Ah, now they’re coming. 

Will, help me to pretend–Heart–show for once in Life that you’re the heart of a man, that you know how to deceive. Gigantic peals of laughter–of ridicule–sound well in my throat! [He laughs.]


dramatic monologues for men

Jose Echegaray

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