Before the 1st Monologue Monday of 2017, the organisers gave several writers a Shakespearean Sonnet each, and asked them to write a ‘response’ to it. Some writers stuck to the sonnet form, and others wrote in a very different style to the original texts, but all were pieces of writing we think Shakespeare would have appreciated… These original works, called ‘love letters’ were then given to random audience members upon entry, and then read at the end of the night. This allowed the writers an invaluable opportunity of hearing a cold reading of their original works – a crucial thing for anyone wanting to edit and improve their writing.
Below is a monologue response to Sonnet 35, written by Binnie Christie
ORIGINAL – SONNET 35
RESPONSE: ‘Have Faith’ by Binnie Christie
The lines in bold have been taken directly from the original.
Character: Female. Say’s one thing, mean’s another.
Speaking kindly and sincerely to her lover:
Forgive yourself now… We all make mistakes. Forgive yourself so that we can both move on. You’ve confessed it. And I’ve forgiven you. So let’s just move on. And forget about it. Ok?
I’ve forgotten everything. And I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Or think about it. Or keep questioning… And I certainly don’t want to ask questions like: Did you sweep her off her feet and onto our bed? Did she lie, dripping on my grandmother’s quilt? Or – Had you fucked her in the car that day I said it smelt like – ? And – Did she buy that watch you’re wearing, that you said Eric gave you? See, I don’t’ want to know things like – Did you tell me because you love me, or because you actually don’t love me at all?
So let’s get past it, alright? Because no one is perfect. (Joking) I’m sure even Jesus had his moments. And at least you’ve owned up to yours. .. You confessed it to me. Like I’m God – that you’ve been on your knees one too many times without praying… I washed away the sins and now so must you. (Sweetly) You have to forgive yourself for being such a cheating bastard. And remember that at least you’re not a lying, cheating bastard. Because you were honest. You’re an honest man, aren’t you? Aren’t you?
Have faith in having admitted your unfaithfulness, and let’s let go of it all. Like I said every rose has thorns… Even I’m not perfect. My biggest mistake being that I love you. And that I hate myself for it. Such civil war is in my love and hate.
But I work on it. Every day I pray, give myself a good talking to, and try to forgive myself. For being so weak. So pathetic. For making excuses for us both. I console myself about your faults and mine, excusing the fact that you are who you are, and that I love you for it. That instead of settling down, I’ve settled.
(Reassuring) But one thing I am completely settled on is that we can move past this. You’ve just got to try. Pray, and try forgive yourself daily. And most importantly of all, just have faith.