A monologue from the play by Lord Byron

download the complete text of The Two Foscari

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.
  • MARINA: That's false! A truer, nobler, trustier heart,
    More loving, or more loyal, never beat
    Within a human breast. I would not change
    My exiled, persecuted, mangled husband,
    Oppress'd but not disgraced, crush'd, overwhelm'd,
    Alive, or dead, for prince or paladin
    In story or in fable, with a world
    To back his suit. Dishonour'd!—he dishonour'd!
    I tell thee, Doge, 'tis Venice is dishonour'd;
    His name shall be her foulest, worst reproach,
    For what he suffers, not for what he did.
    'Tis ye who are all traitors, tyrant!—ye!
    Did you but love your country like this victim
    Who totters back in chains to tortures, and
    Submits to all things rather than to exile,
    You'd fling yourselves before him, and implore
    His grace for your enormous guilt.