The Pillowman

Well, y’know, I’ll tell you what there i


The Pillowman

See more monologues from Martin McDonagh


Age Range
Act 3, Scene 1
Time & Place
An interrogation room, an unnamed totalitarian state
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Ariel is the “bad cop” of a pair of detectives in an unnamed totalitarian state. He

Monologue Text

Well, y’know, I’ll tell you what there is about me. There is an overwhelming, and there is an all-pervading, hatred . . . a hatred . . . of people like you. Of people who lay even the littlest finger . . . on children. I wake up with it. It wakes me up. It rides on the bus with me to work. It whispers to me, “They will not get away with it.” [...] I admit, sometimes I use excessive force. And sometimes I use excessive force on an entirely innocent individual. But I’ll tell you this. If an entirely innocent individual leaves this room for the outside world, they’re not gonna contemplate even raising their voice to a little kid again, just in case I hear’em and drag’em in here for another load of excessive force. Now, is this kind of behavior in an officer of the law in some way questionable morally? Of course it is! But you know what? I don’t care! ‘Cos, when I’m an old man, you know what? Little kids are gonna follow me around and they’re gonna know my name and what I stood for, and they’re gonna give me some of their sweets in thanks, and I’m gonna take those sweets and thank them and tell them to get home safe, and I’m gonna be happy. Not because of the sweets, I don’t really like sweets, but because I’d know . . . I’d know in my heart, that if I hadn’t been there, not all of them would have been there. Because I’m a good policeman. [...]

For full extended monologue, please refer to clips or the script edition cited here: McDonagh, Martin. The Pillowman, Dramatists Play Service Inc. Acting Edition, 1996, pp. 52-3.

Video Examples

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