The Feminist Monologue; Josephine de Beauharnais

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Feminist Monologues are three different monologues, which represent three notable women from history with a rather feminist touch. One monologue was written in Arabic representing the Andalucian princess, Wallada Bint al-Mostakfi, and the other two were in English representing Josephine de Beauharnais and Cleopatra.

They were performed on the stage of Dar Al-Hekma College, and they were part of a theatre program called Kaleidoscope.

https://saudirevelations.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/kaleidoscope-theater-in-jeddah/

Today I am posting the monologue of Josephine de Beauharnais, which was beautifully performed by DAH student Sawsan Al-Aidarous. 

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The Feminist Monologue of Josephine de Beauharnais

(with an angry bitter tone) They never loved me! His family…his mother and sisters…they never loved me…they never approved of our marriage (softens tone…rather shamefully) I never expected them to accept me anyway; a widow and a mother of two children can never be suitable for a young general& a promising political leader…perhaps the greatest French leader in history!

(proudly and confidently) But he chose me! Despite their will…despite the rumors……despite my gaucheness …despite the fact that I was 6 years older than him …yes I never belonged to their sophisticated class …I was not born into a wealthy family…(very assertive tone) but he wanted me! He loved me! He was infatuated with me!

(Reads from a letter) “You to whom nature has given spirit, sweetness, and beauty, you who alone can move and rule my heart, you who know all too well the absolute empire you exercise over it!”

Oh, his sweet words and letters used to make me feel so precious. Alas how love fades away by time and…(sarcastically) other stuff…cheating and all…

I know I made many mistakes…The Parisian mistress of France’s leading figures I was! They were all fond of my charm!

Nevertheless, I was merely a mistress thrown from one man’s arms to another man’s arms. A mistress in the lives of great men….brave soldiers ….sharp leaders…oh…damn that aurora of their greatness and blablabla…they’re all players and womanizers at the end of the day! They’re no better than me and I’m no inferior to them!

I know I cheated on Bonaparte at the beginning of our marriage when he left me a few days after our wedding to go to one of his battles in Italy…But I didn’t love him then…I just married him to save myself and my kids from poverty! (casually) Paul Barras, my former lover, wanted to get rid of me because he got bored…you know! He wanted a new mistress and he couldn’t afford two! So he convinced Bonaparte that I was a catch! Sure I was…(winking and smiling sarcastically) And the young man was so mad about me that he was blinded! And I was undeniably pretty and exotic!

(Reads) “Ah! I entreat you to permit me to see some of your faults. Be less beautiful, less gracious, less affectionate, less good, especially be not over-anxious, and never weep. Believe me it is not in my power to have a single thought which is not of thee, or a wish I could not reveal to thee.”)

(regretful) Ah…it didn’t take him long until he discovered everything! I never wanted to hurt him. I was just so immersed in the Parisian lifestyle…parties and dancing and spending and flirting and showing off …but it all wounded him deeply that he changed forever…he could never love me the way he used to….of course I’m grateful he didn’t divorce me…(regains strength) thanks to the requirements of his political status. (loudly and sarcastically) Political leaders must have settled marriages …that’s the norm….(sarcastic and angry) haha and the biggest joke ever! Political leaders and soldiers who spend more than half of their lives travelling and fighting from one battle to the other…those must have settled marriages or their political positions will be at risk! How ironic! What’s love and marriage to such men? What’s a family to them? Wives who complete their picture perfect and children who will inherit their dry and bloody brutal lives! Hopeless!

But I have to admit it…Napoleon was noble enough not to throw me to the streets…..AND he was clever enough to treat me the same way I treated him!

I wounded him, but he stabbed me constantly…time after time…There was a long list of women… Pauline Foures, Marie Welweska, Desiree Clary, Mademoiselle George, GuiseppinaGrassini…and he ended it by divorcing me and marrying Marie Louse to give him the son that I could never give! Woman after woman…affair after affair…Stab after stab….and then…. I found myself a divorced woman with a bad reputation…AND lots of money…(smiling cunningly) fortunately ….

And with the money I could achieve my dream and live my passion; to renovate my house and garden….to create my Chateau de Malmaison which was “the most beautiful and curious garden in Europe, a model of good cultivation” Chateau de Malmaison is my gift to my beloved country France!

(Stands in pride listening to the French anthem)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKtCVblxDRc

Chateau de Malmaison is an impressive reminder of the conquests of my incomparable friend and ex-husband! And yes….

Napoleon and I became best friends after our divorce…When the pains of our wounds fade away and the flames of love are put off, friendship surfaces and remains. Napoleon’s last words were, “France, army, Joséphine.”)

Stay tuned for Queen Cleopatra’s monologue! 🙂

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Comments
  1. Yacine says:

    Thanks again !

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