Oscar Wilde’s Last Speech
By Jennifer Anne Glenn
Coursework Draft: Two
A satin, blood red curtain slowly opens to reveal a dark, sombre stage. An old, single bed is positioned in the centre of the stage, next to the bed is blue velvet chair to the right of the bedside and to the left of the bed is a crooked wooden table with a single candle that is flickering in a chilling breeze. There is an outline of a rectangle-like shape that is around the set, the rest of the stage is in complete darkness. The lighting is dimly lit to give the sense of the audience looking through the walls into a dingy and claustrophobic room. In the bed lies a still and motionless body of a man. His eyes are hollow and look sunken into his skull, his flesh is a dirty shade of yellow, and looks like stretched and worn out leather. Although his face shows he is gravely ill, the shadow of a once handsome man lurks behind his high and well defined cheek bones, the shadows of a once vibrant, eager life hide behind , the vacant gaze that haunts his eyes To his right, a young and beautiful woman sits in the blue velvet chair, her hair tide back into a tight bun but several loose curls have fallen down onto her thin and pale face. Dry tear marks can be seen on her the curve of her high cheek bones. She is wearing a simple red dress that hang loosely on her body. Her thin hands hold the man’s skeleton hand; she closes her eyes as fresh tears slither down her face.
The man takes a hallow and wheezy breathe as he slowly opens his eye lids.
Mary, my beautiful Mary. God has finally taken pity of me, and I can escape this world. Mary begins to open her mouth when the man raises a hand Hush, no, let me. I have been living my life through a façade, my head was so filled with my desires and wishes that I was blind to the life was I was following, a life I should have been leading. I am a father, a husband; I took no notice of that… His voice trails off as he begins coughing violently.
He closes his eyes and silence fills the room, he opens his eyes…thousands of bitter, sweet memories poured from his eyes as he looked ahead at the pale ceiling. How I long, my Dear Mary, to sit under the sun and feel her soft rays kiss my pale and worn skin, I wish to hold a delicate quill in my hands and feel a piece of fine parchment under my hand. For two years I my passion and talent were ripped away from me. Mary, my darling, I was sentenced to a life of sheer hell, writing was what I lived for, and those monsters snatched my very soul away from me.
Oh Mary, how I tore your heart to shreds. My two angels, Cyril and Vyvyan I yearn so much to hold them again, to kiss their heads and tell them of how much I love them. I lost so many precious, heavenly moments with those beautiful children. My heart bleeds to know that I let lust stain my mind and persuade my conscience to lead me to turning away from my family, abandoning them to allow society to crush and destroy your lives.
But, oh, how he captivated my heart. His eyes begin to fill with fresh tears; his chin begins to quivers, his voice flickers under his sobs. Lord Alfred Douglas. My Lord. I used to call him Bosie when we were together. He laughs lightly, still breathing awkwardly. I remember seeing him for the first time. It was as if angels flew out of my heart. He looked so elegant, in glowing blue eyes glistened under the delicate candle light. His soft and delicate hair complimented his heart shape head, my eyes traced his angel like face, and he always pressed his red, rose lips together in such deep thought…
But how quick I was to realise that outer beauty only goes so far…
He weakly licks his dry lips, intently. His voice turns to a sour tone. He introduced to such a life on shame and sin, from what turned out to be a shameful, shameful way to live. He taunted me into performing and taking part in such hideous events. I gave up so much of my life for that man, I put myself at risk for nurse him back to health, and…
His voice trails…he close his eyes once again, and remains silent more what seems a while. Then gentle sobbing can heard from his wife. He opens his eyes once again, but this slowly, his energy slowly draining.
Mary, after everything I have put you through, I pray to you that you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I never forget the day I married you, and when I think of the vows I made to you that day…I haven’t kept to a single one. My darling, ‘I think that God in creating Man over estimated man’s abilities, he gave me the talent of words and imagery, but it seemed he did not give me limits with this talent. My greatest asset is my greatest curse.
Oscar shivers slightly, as his lets out a low and chilling breath. His eyes close.