Posted in Classical Film, Classical Theatre, Dramatic Monologues, Uncategorizedby katherinebransgrove
Hello everyone! Since beginning this little blog I’ve noticed that many people come to my site looking for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof monologues. Well I’m nothing if not a giving person! So today I’m going to give you another wonderful monologue from Maggie. In it she finally confronts Brick about why she slept with Skipper and what happened.
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Brick: Not love with you, Maggie, but friendship with Skipper was that one great true thing, and you are naming it dirty!
Margaret: Then you haven’t been listenin’, not understood what I’m saying! I’m naming it so damn clean that it killed poor Skipper! – You two had something that had to be kept on ice, yes, incorruptible, yes! – and death was the only icebox where you could keep it…
Brick: I married you, Maggie. Why would I marry you, Maggie, if I was – ?
Margaret: Brick, let me finish! – I know, believe me I know, that it was only Skipper that harboured even an unconscious desire for anything not perfectly pure between you two! – Now let me skip a little. You married me early that summer we graduated out of Ole Miss, and we were happy, weren’t we, we were blissful, yes, hit heaven together ev’ry time that we loved! But that fall you an’ Skipper turned down wonderful offers of jobs in order to keep on bein’ football heroes – pro-football heroes. You organized the Dixie Stars that fall, so you could keep on bein’ teammates forever! But somethin’ was not right with it! – Me included! – between you. Skipper began hittin’ the bottle…you got a spinal injury – couldn’t play the Thanksgivin’ game in Chicago, watched it on TV from a traction bed in Toledo. I joined Skipper. The Dixie Stars lost because poor Skipper was drunk. We drank together that night all night in the bar of the Blackstone and when cold day was comin’ up over the Lake an’ we were comin’ out drunk to take a dizzy look at it, I said, ‘SKIPPER! STOP LOVIN’ MY HUSBAND OR TELL HIM HE’S GOT TO LET YOU ADMIT IT TO HIM!’ – one way or another!
HE SLAPPED ME HARD ON THE MOUTH! – then turned and ran without stopping once, I am sure, all the way back into his room at the Blackstone…
-When I came to his room that night, with a little scratch like a shy little mouse at his door, he made that pitiful, ineffectual little attempt to prove that what I had said wasn’t true…
Brick strikes at her with crutch, a blow that shatters the gemlike lamp on the table.
Margaret: – In this way, I destroyed him, by telling him truth that he and his world which he was born and raised in, yours and his world, had told him could not be told?
-From then on Skipper was nothing at all but a receptacle for liquor and drugs…
-Who shot cock robin? I with my – merciful arrow!
Brick strikes at her; misses.
Margaret: Missed me! – Sorry – I’m not tryin’ to whitewash my behaviour, Christ, no! Brick, I’m not good. I don’t know why people have to pretend to be good, nobody’s good. The rich or the well-to-do can afford to respect moral patterns, conventional moral patterns, but I could never afford to, yeah, but – I’m honest! Give me credit for just that, will you please? Born poor, raised poor, expect to die poor unless I manage to get us something out of what Big Daddy leaves when he dies of cancer! But Brick?! – Skipper is dead! I’m alive! Maggie the cat is alive! I am alive, alive! I am alive!
Don’t you just love Tennessee Williams? Enjoy and as always PLEASE READ THE PLAY!
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There’s something you should know about me. I love Tennessee Williams. I love Tennessee Williams so much that I would have his babies if he was alive and straight. That’s why I’ve spontaneously decided to post a Tennessee Williams monologue! I’m so excited! Are you? You better be.
I’m starting with one of my favourite monologues from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I’m not going to explain the back-story and who Maggie the Cat is because if you don’t know (and I mean really know as in I’ve-read-the-play know) then you should be ashamed of yourself and go and sit in the naughty corner where you belong. I’m really not this crazy in real life, I promise.
Maggie: Big Daddy dotes on you, honey. And he can’t stand Brother Man and Brother Man’s wife, that monster of fertility, Mae. Know how I know? By little expressions that flicker over his face when that woman is holding fo’th on one of her choice topics such as – how she refused twilight sleep – when the twins were delivered! Because she feels motherhood’s an experience that a woman ought to experience fully! – in order to fully appreciate the wonder and beauty of it! HAH! – and how she made Brother Man come in an’ stand beside her in the delivery room so he would not miss out on the ‘wonder and beauty’ of it either! – producin’ those no-neck monsters… (A speech of this kind would be antipathetic from almost anybody but Margaret; she makes it oddly funny, because her eyes constantly twinkle and her voice shakes with laughter which is basically indulgent.) Big Daddy shares my attitude towards those two! As for me, well – I give him a laugh now and then and he tolerates me. In fact! – I sometimes suspect that Big Daddy harbours a little unconscious ‘lech’ fo’ me…
Way he always drops his eyes down my body when I’m talkin’ to him, drops his eyes to my boobs an’ licks his old chops! Ha ha!
Did anyone ever tell you that you’re an ass-aching Puritan, Brick? I think it’s mighty fine that the ole fellow, on the doorstep of death, still takes in my shape with what I think is deserved appreciation! And you wanta know something else? Big Daddy didn’t know how many little Maes and Goopers had been produced! ‘How many kids have you got?’ he asked at the table, just like Brother Man and his wife were new acquaintances to him! Big Mama said he was jokin’, but that ole boy wasn’t jokin’, Lord, no! And when they infawmed him that they had five already and were turning out number six! – the news seemed to come as a sort of unpleasant surprise… (Children yell below.) Scream, monsters! (Turns to Brick with a sudden, gay, charming smile which fades as she notices that he is not looking at her but into fading gold space with a troubled expression. It is constant rejection that makes her humour ‘bitchy’.) Yes, you should of been at that supper-table, Baby. (Whenever she calls him ‘baby’ the word is a soft caress.) Y’know, Big Daddy, bless his ole sweet soul, he’s the dearest ole thing in the whole world, but he does hunch over his food as if he preferred not to notice anything else. Well, Mae an’ Gooper were side by side at the table, direckly across from Big Daddy, watchin’ his face like hawks while they jawed an’ jabbered about the cuteness an’ brilliance of th’ no-neck monsters! (She giggles with a hand fluttering at her throat and her breast and her long throat arched. She comes downstage and recreates the scene with voice and gesture.) And the no-neck monsters were ranged around the table, some in high chairs and on th’ Books of Knowledge, all in fancy little paper caps in honour of Big Daddy’s birthday, and all through dinner, well, I want you to know that Brother man an’ his partner never once, for one moment, stopped exchanging pokes an’ pinches an’ kicks an’ signs an’ signals! – Why, they were like a couple of cardsharps fleecing a sucker. – Even Big Mama, bless her ole sweet soul, she isn’t th’ quickest an’ brightest thing in the world, she finally noticed, at last, an’ said to Gooper, ‘Gooper, what are you an’ Mae makin’ all these signs at each other about?’ – I swear t’ goodness, I nearly choked on my chicken!
What a funny, lively, provoking and sad monologue this is! I love it so much. Maggie is understandably contemptuous of Gooper and Mae and their no-neck monsters and enjoys making fun of them. But beneath it all what she is really trying to do is get her indifferent husband’s attention and admiration. She wants him to love her and want her. And the fact that Maggie has struggled to have children with Brick and is being pressured to produce an heir adds an interesting element to the speech and her cattiness towards Mae, Gooper and their children.