Herod's ramblings, fear, anger, bitterness as he speaks of his life amid the birth of "another king"
A very hard-hitting monologue
Sample of script:
We are the King! We are the one and only King of this miserable wretched nation of Israel! Did we not so decree? Did we not make it well known, even putting it into law, as if that mere formality was of any need, all that is required is that we, King Herod, so decree! The only King! Do you understand that! Never has there been such a King as we are, nor is there now, now shall there ever be! Never! Do we make ourselves clear?
Nation of Israel? (laughs) Nation? Some nation! Imbeciles! Lunatics! (pause) Strong words you say? Strong words indeed we reply! Judge for yourself then, this . . .this . . .this people, this so-called nation . . . have, or so it seems, lived their entire history under the delusion of a king coming to, . . . to . . . ah yes, to deliver them from oppression! Oppression! Poor, poor people! Oppressed are they? They feel oppressed, do they, well, we shall show them oppressed!
There shall be no other king! That is firm , that is final. Our former wife, Mariamne, the daughter of the high priest, was our wife, and with her we had two sons. But we ordered that she and the boys be killed. Why did I do so you foolishly ask? They shall not be king! (laughs) You are likely aware, Caesar Augustus once said it was safer to be Herod’s pig than Herod’s son, so jealous are we that anyone who might replace us. Is the statement accurate? Perhaps. But not jealous . . . . we would prefer to say . . cautious. Ever vigilant. What right did our sons have to ever dream about being king? What had they ever done to be deserving of the title of king. They are our sons, nothing more! Only by accident of birth were they considered fit to be king. And there is only one manner in which they could accept the kingship of this miserable threadbare province, and that would be upon our death or our departure! And we shall not die and we shall not depart! Is there complete clarity on that point? We are the king, the only king! Is that fully understood! There shall never be anyone to rule over this land other than I, King Herod. Yes, yes, yes . . . . go ahead, you may bow before us!
Furthermore, we have another living son whom we are watching very carefully. Just last night we came into our living quarters to see our son playing about with his friends. And would you guess the subject of their stupid game? These . .. .these . . children, our own son included, were . . . were playing make-believe. Make believe what you ask? They were pretending that they were, . . . get this impertinence, . . they were pretending that they were king. Pretending that they were king! We told them, . . .we are the only king in this nation! And we straightaway sent our son’s playmates off to our dungeon, to the protest of our wife, . . . . which, we might add, matters nothing to us! It was our intent that our son join his playmates in prison however, foolishly, we went along with the hysterical wailings of our current wife. However, we shall be closely thinking on our required actions in the upcoming days, and we are leaning very strongly to the removal of our son and all other male obstacles to our permanence. And what of the reaction our wife may have? Perhaps it would be her wish to join with our former wife, Mariamne? What is another life? Or two. Or three? What matter? We have now married for the tenth time . . . would eleven then be calamity? We think not!
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