Since we covered that pioneer of modern theatre in America, Neith Boyce, on Thursday, it’s only fitting that Monologue Monday feature a monologue written by Boyce.
Now, truth be told, this isn’t a “true” monologue because it’s been created by deleting HE’s lines, so you end up with SHE’s lines.
The play is called Enemies and it premiered in 1916 at the Provincetown Playhouse.
It’s basically a quarrelling couple. Boyce and her husband Hutchins Hapgood wrote it, based on their own “open” marriage. Boyce wrote the part of SHE.
Here is that monologue:
SHE: Oh, very well, if you’re so keen on separating–fine. But remember, you suggest it. I never said I wanted to separate from you–if I had, I wouldn’t be here now. You, on account of your love for me, have tyrannized over me, bothered me, badgered me, nagged me, for fifteen years. You have interfered with me, taken my time and strength, and prevented me from accomplishing great works for the good of humanity. You have crushed my soul, which longs for serenity and peace, with your perpetual complaining! But you see, my dear, I am more philosophical than you, and I recognize all this as necessity. Men and women are natural enemies, like cat and dog–only more so. They are forced to live together for a time, or this wonderful race couldn’t go on. In addition, in order to have the best children, men and women of totally opposite temperaments must live together. The shock and flame of two hostile temperaments meeting is what produces fine children. Well, we have fulfilled our fate and produced our children, and they are good ones. But really–to expect also to live in peace together–we as different as fire and water, or sea and land–that’s too much!
Let’s see what Youtube has to offer on this one…
And here’s a special one – a music video featuring excerpts from Boyce’s diary. Hmmm…
Thanks again for reading each week – on Thursday we profile another crackerjack playwright – don’t forget to check out the profile of the author of Enemies right here.
For a complete listing of monologues, click here.