Listen! Today was a narrow escape--for u...

The Great God Brown

William A. “Billy” Brown

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Listen! Today was a narrow escape--for us! We can't avoid discovery much longer. We must get our plot to working! We've already made William Brown's will, leaving you his money and business. We must hustle off to Europe now--and murder him there! (a bit tauntingly) Then you--the I in you--I will live with Margaret happily ever after. (more tauntingly) She will have children by me! (He seems to hear some mocking denial from the mask. He bends toward it.) What? (then with a sneer) Anyway, that doesn't matter! Your children already love me more than they ever loved you! And Margaret loves me more! You think you've won, do you--that I've got to vanish into you in order to live? Not yet, my friend! Never! Wait! Gradually Margaret will love what is beneath--me! Little by little I'll teach her to know me, and then finally I'll reveal myself to her, and confess that I stole your place out of love for her, and she'll understand and forgive and love me! And you'll be forgotten! Ha! (Again he bends down to the mask as if listening--torturedly) What's that? She'll never believe? She'll never see? She'll never understand? You lie, devil! (He reaches out his hands as if to take the mask by the throat, then shrinks back with a shudder of hopeless despair) God have mercy! Let me believe! Blessed are the merciful! Let me obtain mercy! (He waits, his face upturned--pleadingly) Not yet? (despairingly) Never? (A pause. Then, in a sudden panic of dread, he reaches out for the mask of Dion like a dope fiend after a drug. As soon as he holds it, he seems to gain strength and is able to force a sad laugh.) Now I am drinking your strength, Dion--strength to love in this world and die and sleep and become fertile earth, as you are becoming now in my garden--your weakness the strength of my flowers, your failure as an artist painting their petals with life! (then, with bravado) Come with me while Margaret's bridegroom dresses in your clothes, Mr. Anthony! I need the devil when I'm in the dark! (He goes off left, but can be heard talking.) Your clothes begin to fit me better than my own! Hurry, Brother! It's time we were home. Our wife is waiting! (He reappears, having changed his coat and trousers.) Come with me and tell her again I love her! Come and hear her tell me how she loves you! (He suddenly cannot help kissing the mask.) I love you because she loves you! My kisses on your lips are for her! (He puts the mask over his face and stands for a moment, seeming to grow tall and proud--then with a laugh of bold self-assurance) Out by the back way! I mustn't forget I'm a desperate criminal, pursued by God, and by myself! (He goes out right, laughing with amused satisfaction.)

O’Neill, Eugene. The Great God Brown. Act 3, Sc, 2. 1926.

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All monologues are property and copyright of their owners. Monologues are presented on StageAgent for educational purposes only.

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