A monologue from the play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Eight Dramas of Calderon. Trans. Edward Fitzgerald. London: Macmillan & Co., 1906.

ISABEL: Listen for the last time. You know how, sitting last night under the shelter of those white hairs in which my maiden youth had grown, those wretches, whose only law is force, stole upon us. He who had feigned that quarrel in our house, seizing and tearing me from your bosom as a lamb from the fold, carried me off; my own cries stifled, yours dying away behind me, and yet ringing in my ears like the sound of a trumpet that has ceased!–till here, where out of reach of pursuit,–all dark–the very moon lost from heaven–the wretch began with passionate lies to excuse his violence by his love–his love!–I implored, wept, threatened, all in vain–the villain–But my tongue will not utter what I must weep in silence and ashes for ever! Yet let these quivering hands and heaving bosom, yea, the very tongue that cannot speak, speak loudest! Amid my shrieks, entreaties, imprecations, the night began to wear away and dawn to creep into the forest. I heard a rustling in the leaves; it was my brother–who in the twilight understood all without a word–drew the sword you had but just given him–they fought–and I, blind with terror, shame, and anguish, fled till–till at last I fell before your feet, my father, to tell you my story before I die! And now I undo the cords that keep your hands from my wretched life. So–it is done! And I kneel before you–your daughter–your disgrace and my own. Avenge us both; and revive your dead honour in the blood of her you gave life to!

Read the play here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top