THE DOCTOR’S DILEMMA – Monologue (Mrs. Dubedat)

A monologue from the play by George Bernard Shaw

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Doctor’s Dilemma, Getting Married, and The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet. Bernard Shaw. New York: Brentano’s, 1909.


I had a great many dreams; but at last they all came down to this. I didn’t want to waste myself. I could do nothing myself;

but I had a little property and I could help with it. I had even a little beauty: don’t think me vain for knowing it.

I knew that men of genius always had a terrible struggle with poverty and neglect at first. My dream was to save one of them from that,

and bring some charm and happiness into his life. I prayed Heaven would send me one. I firmly believe that Louis was guided to me in answer to my prayer.

He was no more like the other men I had met than the Thames Embankment is like our Cornish coasts. He saw everything that I saw, and drew it for me.

He understood everything. He came to me like a child. Only fancy, doctor: he never even wanted to marry me:

he never thought of the things other men think of! I had to propose it myself. Then he said he had no money. When I told him I had some,

he said “Oh, all right,” just like a boy. He is still like that, quite unspoiled, a man in his thoughts, a great poet and artist in his dreams, and a child in his ways.

I gave him myself and all I had that he might grow to his full height with plenty of sunshine. If I lost faith in him,

it would mean the wreck and failure of my life. I should go back to Cornwall and die. I could show you the very cliff I should jump off.

You must cure him: you must make him quite well again for me. I know that you can do it and that nobody else can.

I implore you not to refuse.

Read the play here

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