The Verge

by Susan Glaspell (1921)

Act 1

Claire - Female, 35 to 50 yrs

Scene partner - Harry

Monologue - Dramatic, 1:00 to 2:00 min


We need not be held in forms moulded for us. There is outness — and otherness.

[Harry: Now, Claire — I didn't mean to start anything serious.]

[No; you never mean to do that.] I want to break it up! I tell you, I want to break it up! If it were all in pieces, we'd be shocked to aliveness wouldn't we? There would be strange new comings together — mad new comings together, and we would know what it is to be born, and then we might know — that we are. Smash it. As you'd smash an egg.

[Harry: Well, all you've smashed is the egg, and all that amounts to is that now Tom gets no egg. So that's that.]

You think I can't smash anything? You think life can't break up, and go outside what it was? Because you've gone dead in the form in which you found yourself, you think that's all there is to the whole adventure? And that is called sanity. And made a virtue — to lock one in. You never worked with things that grow! Things that take a sporting chance — go mad — that sanity mayn't lock them in — from life untouched — from life — that waits, Breath of Life.

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