THE SPANISH TRAGEDY – Monologue (Bel-Imperia)

A monologue from the play by Thomas Kyd

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Spanish Tragedy. Thomas Kyd. London: J. M. Dent & Co., 1898.


Is this the love thou bear’st Horatio?
Is this the kindness that thou counterfeits?
Are these the fruits of thine incessant tears?
Hieronimo, are these thy passions,
Thy protestations and thy deep laments,
That thou wert wont to weary men withal?
O unkind father! O deceitful world!
With what excuses canst thou show thyself–
With what dishonor and the hate of men–
From this dishonor and the hate of men,
Thus to neglect the loss and life of him
Whom both my letters and thine own belief
Assures thee to be causeless slaughteréd?
Hieronimo, for shame, Hieronimo,
Be not a history to aftertimes
Of such ingratitude unto thy son.
Unhappy mothers of such children then!
But monstrous fathers to forget so soon
The death of those whom they with care and cost
Have tendered so, thus careless should be lost.
Myself a stranger in respect of thee,
So loved his life as still I wish their deaths.
Nor shall his death be unrevenged by me,
Although I bear it out for fashion’s sake,
For here I swear, in sight of heaven and earth,
Shouldst thou neglect the love thou shouldst retain,
And give it over and devise no more,
Myself should send their hateful souls to hell
That wrought his downfall with extremest death.

Read the play here

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