Cassandra Monologues

Trojan Women (Cassandra)

Cassandra says

O Mother, fill mine hair with happy flowers,
And speed me forth. Yea, if my spirit cowers,
Drive me with wrath! So liveth Loxias,
A bloodier bride than ever Helen was
Go I to Agamemnon, Lord most high
Of Hellas! . . . I shall kill him, mother; I
Shall kill him, and lay waste his house with fire
As he laid ours. My brethren and my sire
Shall win again . . .
But part I must let be,
And speak not. Not the axe that craveth me,
And more than me; not the dark wanderings
Of mother-murder that my bridal brings,
And all the House of Atreus down, down, down . .
Nay, I will show thee. Even now this town
Is happier than the Greeks. I know the power
Of God is on me: but this little hour,
Wilt thou but listen, I will hold him back!

Agamemnon (Cassandra)

Oh, mistery, misery! Again comes on me
The terrible labor of true prophecy, dizzying prelude.
Do you see these who sit before the house,
Children, like the shapes of dreams?
Children who seem to have been killed by their kinsfolk,
Filling their hands with meat, flesh of themselves,
Guts and entrails, handfuls of lament –
Clear what they hold – the same their father tasted.
For this I declare someone is plotting vengeance –
A lion? Lion but coward, that lurks in bed,
Good watchdog truly against the lord’s return-
My lord, for I must bear the yoke of serfdom.
A daring criminal! Female murders male.
It is Agamemnon’s death that you shall witness!
Ah, what a fire it is! It comes upon me.
It is the two-foot lioness who beds
Beside a wolf, the noble lion away,
It is she will kill me! Brewing a poisoned cup
She will mix my punishment while sharpening
The dagger for her husband; to pay back murder
For my being brought here. Destruction!
They call me crazy, like a fortune-teller,
A poor starved beggar-woman – and I bore it!
And now the prophet undoing his prophetess
Has brought me to this final darkness.
Instead of my father’s altar the executioner’s block
Waits me the victim, red with my hot blood.
I will go in and have the courage to die.
Look, these gates are the gates of Death.
I greet them, and pray that I may meet a
Deft and mortal stroke so that I may close my
Eyes as my blood ebbs in an easy death.