A monologue from the play by Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Walter Wykes
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted with the author’s permission. All inquiries should be directed to the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
RUBEK: Come and live with us–in the villa. You can set your swans swimming in the brook … we can talk of old times … you can open all that is locked up in me–as you did in our days of creation.
I beg of you, Irene–give me this one chance to live my life over again.
Help me undo my greatest mistake. When you left, Irene … when you disappeared … I cannot express to you … I was filled with such regret. I became painfully aware of all that I had left unsaid
… all the moments I had allowed to pass … without … without grasping them … without … I had come to think of you as something sacred, you see … something holy … a gift from God
… a creature of innocence not to be touched save in adoring thoughts. A superstition took hold of me that if I touched you … if I desired you with my senses …
my soul would be desecrated, and I would not be able to finish my work.
I was a fool! An idealistic young fool!
I should have taken you in my arms right then and there–on the floor of my studio, I should have taken you! With the clay still on my fingers!
It would only have added to the beauty of the child–to the depth and complexity of her meaning–of her mystery.
[Pause.] I can’t lose you again, Irene–I don’t think I could survive it.