by Anton Chekhov (1897)
Helena - Female, 25 to 35 yrs
Scene partner - Sonia
Monologue - Dramatic, 1:00 to 2:00 min
It is not a question of medicine and woods, my dear, he is a man of genius. Do you know what that means? It means he is brave, profound, and of clear insight. He plants a tree and his mind travels a thousand years into the future, and he sees visions of the happiness of the human race. People like him are rare and should be loved. What if he does drink and act roughly at times? A man of genius cannot be a saint in Russia. There he lives, cut off from the world by cold and storm and endless roads of bottomless mud, surrounded by a rough people who are crushed by poverty and disease, his life one continuous struggle, with never a day's respite; how can a man live like that for forty years and keep himself sober and unspotted? I wish you happiness with all my heart; you deserve it. As for me, I am a worthless, futile woman. I have always been futile; in music, in love, in my husband's house — in a word, in everything. When you come to think of it, Sonia, I am really very, very unhappy. Happiness can never exist for me in this world. Never. Why do you laugh?