A monologue from the play by Christopher Marlowe
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Works. Christopher Marlowe. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1910.
GLOSTER: I, Edward, will use women honourably,
Would he were wasted marrow, bones and all,
That from his loins no issue might succeed
To hinder me from the golden time I look for,
For I am not yet looked on in the world.
First is there Edward, Clarence, and Henry
And his son, and all thy looked for issue
Of their loins ere I can plant my self,
A cold premeditation for my purpose,
What other pleasure is there in the world beside?
I will go clad my body in gay ornaments,
And lull my self within a lady’s lap,
And witch sweet Ladies with my words and looks.
Oh monstrous man, to harbour such a thought!
Why love did scorn me in my mother’s womb,
And for I should not deal in her affairs,
She did corrupt frail nature in the flesh,
And plaste an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to mock my body,
To dry mine arm up like a withered shrimp.
To make my legs of an unequal size,
And am I then a man to be belov’d?
Easier for me to compass twenty crowns.
Tut I can smile, and murder when I smile,
I cry content, to that that grieves me most.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
And for a need change shapes with Protheus,
And set the aspiring Catalin to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get the crown?
Tush were it ten times higher, I’ll pull it down.