KING HENRY VI, PART II – Monologue (Queen Margaret- 2)

A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare


Be woe for me, more wretched than he is.
What, dost thou turn away, and hide thy face?
I am no loathsome leper. Look on me.
What? Art thou like the adder waxen deaf?
Be poisonous too, and kill thy forlorn queen.
Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester’s tomb?
Why, then Dame Margaret was ne’er thy joy.
Erect his statue and worship it,
And make my image but an alehouse sign.
Was I for this nigh wracked upon the sea
And twice by awkward wind from England’s bank
Drove back again unto my native clime?
What boded this but well-forewarning wind
Did seem to say, ‘Seek not a scorpion’s nest
Nor set no footing on this unkind shore’?
What did I then but cursed the gentle gusts
And he that loosed them forth their brazen caves,
And bid them blow toward England’s blessèd shore
Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock?
Yet Aeolus would not be a murderer,
But left that hateful office unto thee.
The pretty vaulting sea refused to drown me,
Knowing that thou wouldst have me drowned on shore
With tears as salt as sea through thy unkindness.
The splitting rocks cowered in the sinking sands
And would not dash me with their ragged sides,
Because they flinty heart, more hard than they,
Might in thy palace perish Margaret.
As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
I stood upon the hatches in the storm,
And when the dusky sky began to rob
My earnest-gaping sight of thy land’s view,
I took a costly jewel from my neck,
A heart it was, bound in with diamonds,
And threw it toward thy land. The sea received it,
And so I wished thy body might my heart;
And even with this I lost fair England’s view,
And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart,
And called them blind and dusky spectacles
For losing ken of Albion’s wishèd coast.
How often have I tempted Suffolk’s tongue
(The agent of thy foul inconstancy)
To sit and witch me as Ascanius did
When he to madding Dido would unfold
His father’s acts commenced in burning Troy!
Am I not witched like her? or thou not false like him?
Ay me, I can no more. Die, Margaret!
For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.

Read the play here

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