Guards at the Taj

That sounds awful! I don’t want to have


Guards at the Taj

See more monologues from Rajiv Joseph


Age Range
Act One, Scene Three
Time & Place
Agra, outside the Taj Mahal, 1648, nighttime,
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Humayun and Babur are best friends who work as palace guards for Shah Jahan, Emperor of India. At

Monologue Text

That sounds awful! I don’t want to have to hunt for my food, I don’t want to sleep outside every night and I certainly don’t want to risk my neck murdering the Emperor! Babur! Wake up! Because I don’t think you actually understand anything: There is the King. And he is at the Center. And there are those who serve him, closely, like us, and so we are near the Center, and so our lives are good and we eat well. And then there’s the rest of the world out there, balancing on the edge of things. And they do not eat well. But yesterday… and today… If people see Taj Mahal and suddenly think that this wonderful, unbelievable thing was created by 20,000 ordinary men, then they begin to wonder about changing their lives. And if enough people do that, then the edge might come for the Center. And the Center could be cast away. And then we’re f#@&ed. So that’s why we did this. Your sword, my cauterizing iron, those baskets of hands… this is called Keeping The Peace. We have a good life, Babu. And I appreciate it. I like the world.

Joseph, Rajiv. Guards at the Taj. Dramatists Play Service, New York, NY. 2015. pp. 37 - 38.

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