DEFEAT – Monologue (Girl)

A monologue from the play by John Galsworthy

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Strife and Other Plays. John Galsworthy. Arlington: Black Box Press, 2008.


I don’t hate even the English–I despise them. I despise my people too; even more, because they began this war. Oh!

I know that. I despise all the peoples. Why haf they made the world so miserable–why haf they killed all our lives–

hundreds and thousands and millions of lives–all for noting? They haf made a bad world–everybody hating, and looking for the worst everywhere.

They haf made me bad, I know. I believe no more in anything. What is there to believe in? Is there a God? No!

Once I was teaching little English children their prayers–isn’t that funny? I was reading to them about Christ and love.

I believed all those things. Now I believe noting at all–no one who is not a fool or a liar can believe. I would like to work in a ‘ospital;

I would like to go and ‘elp poor boys like you. Because I am a German they would throw me out a ‘undred times, even if I was good.

It is the same in Germany, in France, in Russia, everywhere. But do you think I will believe in Love and Christ and God and all that–not I!

I think we are animals–that’s all! Oh, yes! You fancy it is because my life has spoiled me. It is not that at all–that is not the worst thing in life.

The men I take are not nice, like you, but it’s their nature; and–they help me to live, which is something for me, anyway.

No, it is the men who think themselves great and good and make war with their talk and their hate, killing us all–

killing all the boys like you, and keeping poor people in prison, and telling us to go on hating; and all these dreadful cold-blooded creatures who write in the papers–

the same in my country–just the same; it is because of all of them that I think we are only animals.

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