17 October, 2021

5 Great Monologues in Literature

Samwise Gamgee,samwise
The Two Towers
JRR Tolkien

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

2 thoughts on “5 Great Monologues in Literature

  1. Nice choices, Tee! My favorite monologue (and I know this is cheating because it’s a play instead of narrative) is from Peter Schafer’s “Equus”, about a young boy under the care of a jaded psychologist because he has blinded a herd of horses. It’s an extremely powerful play. But in this monologue, the doctor questions his ability to help the boy, with an extremely personal insight. It reminds me that all is not as it seems and that the “norm” may not be “normal” at all: ” ‘Oh, the primitive world,’ I say. ‘What instinctual truths were lost with it!’ And while I sit there, baiting a poor unimaginative woman with the word, that freaky boy tries to conjure the reality! I sit looking at pages of centaurs trampling the soil of Argos—and outside my window he is trying to become one, in a Hampshire field! . . . I watch that woman knitting, night after night—a woman I haven’t kissed in six years—and he stands in the dark for an hour, sucking the sweat off his God’s hairy cheek! “

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