Lady Windermere

My life—my whole life. Take it, and do

Lord Darlington

Lady Windermere's Fan

See more monologues from Oscar Wilde



Basics

Character
Gender
Age Range
Style
Scene
Act 2
Time & Place
England, 1890s
Length
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Lady Windermere has just told Lord Darlington about her husband's apparent romantic liaison with

Monologue Text

My life—my whole life. Take it, and do with it what you will. . . . I love you—love you as I have never loved any living thing. From the moment I met you I loved you, loved you blindly, adoringly, madly! You did not know it then—you know it now! Leave this house to-night. I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a great deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose! Oh, my love, choose.[...] Yes; you have the courage. There may be six months of pain, of disgrace even, but when you no longer bear his name, when you bear mine, all will be well. Margaret, my love, my wife that shall be some day—yes, my wife! You know it! What are you now? This woman has the place that belongs by right to you. Oh! go—go out of this house, with head erect, with a smile upon your lips, with courage in your eyes. All London will know why you did it; and who will blame you? No one. If they do, what matter? Wrong? What is wrong? It’s wrong for a man to abandon his wife for a shameless woman. It is wrong for a wife to remain with a man who so dishonours her. You said once you would make no compromise with things. Make none now. Be brave! Be yourself!

[For full play text, see:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/790/790-h/790-h.htm]




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