My Daughter Monologue

Wednesday, January 5, 2022 12:40:38 PM

My Daughter Monologue

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MY DAUGHTER (monologue)

This is a simple breakdown of the text into thought and beat changes. What information does the language reveal about the state of mind Egeus is in? Straight off the bat, It is obvious that he is a father incensed. His language is packed with alliteration, strong iambic rhythm and repetition. Egeus: Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia. You have sung at her window at nighttime, In a deceitful voice verses of a deceitful love, And imprinted yourself in her imagination With brackets made from your hair, rings, showy ornaments, trinkets, Knick-Knacks, worthless tokens, flowers, sweets — the things That strongly influences impressionable young girls.

And my gracious duke, If she will not, here, in front of you, Consent to marry Demetrius, I beg to use the ancient rule of Athens, As she is my property, I may dispose of her at my discretion, Which will either be to this gentleman Or to her death, according to the law, Directly provided in matters like this. Vexation : The state of being angry, annoyed, in rage. Rhymes : Poems. Feigning voice : In a deceitful tone, softly, gently. Feigning love : deceptive, desirous love.

In this case — showy ornaments. Conceits : Trinkets. Knacks : Knick-knacks. Sweetmeats : Confectionary. Nosegays : Small flower bouquets. Prevailment : Influence or persuade. In this case — inexperienced or naive. Filched : Stolen. What is often overlooked is the dark, tragedy-like beginning of this play. She looked into my eyes and must have been reassured by what she saw. Hope blossomed in my mind. Tears were falling from my eyes as I looked up the number for social services and picked up the phone.

I just knew I had to do the right thing. Daniel and I had been married for 18 years. He was tall and slim with auburn hair and blue-grey eyes and a full beard and moustache. Within a week, I had decided he was the man with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. We married the following year. Tamsin was conceived two years after our wedding, and Claire came along two and a half years after that. As it turned out, I loved being a mother and Daniel was good with the girls as babies. But as they grew up, he changed. His own parents had been authoritarian, and not reluctant to use a belt to hit their children. He, too, resorted to smacking and violence.

One incident in particular stands out. He was angry with me for taking him to task; but when he realised I was serious, he backed down and apologised. Over and over again, we talked about what was reasonable behaviour and over and over he agreed with me. But his efforts to improve never lasted long. Why did I stay with him if things were so bad? Mostly, we had a good family life. I knew the harm that divorce causes to children. I still loved Daniel and I thought we could make it work. Until that day. Daniel was in the Far East when Tamsin wrote her devastating note. Social services set up an appointment for the following Monday.

Meanwhile, I had to address another horrible thought. Gently, I asked Claire if her dad had ever touched her. It was becoming clearer now. Claire has always been an upfront child. Whenever anything was worrying her, she would come and tell me. If only Tamsin had been the same. Listening to her engraved pictures on my mind which I still have trouble banishing today. The police also took statements and arranged a medical examination. Several weeks later, Daniel was arrested as he stepped off a flight from Jakarta. I cried my eyes out.

Even though I was convinced Tamsin had been telling the truth, still a tiny part of me had hoped it was all a mistake. Daniel was bailed, with strict conditions not to approach either Tamsin or me. I had imagined that he would be feeling crushed and placatory. I was soon to discover how little I knew him. So that was it. I was to be blamed for reporting the abuse. This was my first experience of the denial which abusers use to protect themselves from acknowledging the harm they have caused. Who is protected by dealing with such matters within the family? Only the abuser. The case took ten months to come to court and was finally heard in October When people asked me that year how I was coping, I said I had pencilled in a nervous breakdown for November.

Tamsin needed all my energy. Tamsin went downhill quickly. The first signs were strange attacks, which she called freakies. They are difficult to describe. Her body was there, but the rational person that was Tamsin disappeared. Instead there was a frightened creature which threw itself at walls and on the floor, and scratched itself incessantly. I spent many evenings desperately holding her hands to stop her scratching out her eyes until the prescribed tranquilliser could take effect. For a while, she underwent counselling and we got a brief glimpse of the old Tamsin — a normal teenager full of fun and laughter. But then she went downhill again. Two years after she first disclosed the abuse, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where nurses found her scraping away at her wrist with a knife.

When they took the knife away, she continued to scratch with her nails. She talked about hearing bad voices — the Doctors, she called them. One night, after she was discharged, I found her shaving the skin off the back of her hand with a razor. It was the Doctors; they made me! For six desperately anxious months, we worried that Tamsin was schizophrenic. But psychiatrists eventually concluded that she had been suffering from a neurotic, rather than psychotic illness. As new medication began to work, life calmed down and there were no more voices or self-harming. It was by no means the beginning of the end of our story; but perhaps it was the end of the beginning.

I, too, underwent counselling to unravel my confused feelings. Partly it was because I knew from reading about the subject in newspapers and magazines that children seldom, if ever, lie about abuse. Partly it was because I knew that Tamsin was a truthful person. But mostly it was that somewhere deep inside I had known instinctively that she was telling the truth.

Afterwards, odd bits of behaviour and events began to click into place.

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