A monologue from Act II, Scene iii

by: William Shakespeare

NOTE: Titus Andronicus was originally published in a quarto of 1594. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

TAMORA: Have I not reason to look pale?
These two have ticed [1] me hither to this place,
A barren detested vale you see it is;
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
Overcome with moss and baleful mistletoe.
Here never shines the sun; her nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven:
And when they showed me this abhorrèd pit,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins [2],
Would make such fearful and confusèd cries
As any mortal body hearing it
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale
But straight they told me they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew
And leave me to this miserable death.
And then they called me foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect;
And had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Or be ye not henceforth called my children.

1 enticed

2 hedgehogs

Home · Full-Length Plays · One-Act Plays · 10 Minute Plays · Monologues · Email · © 2000 TheatreHistory.com