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King Arthur’s Socks

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King Arthur’s Socks

by Floyd Dell

Genre: Comedy
Setting: England
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

LANCELOT. (brutally) You! You want a love-affair. Your common sense tells you it’s folly. Your reason won’t allow it. So you want your common sense to be overwhelmed, your reason lost. You want to be swept off your, feet. You want to be made to do something you don’t approve of. You want to be wicked, and you want it to be some one else’s fault. Tell me–isn’t it true?

GUENEVERE. Yes, it is true–except for one thing, Lancelot. It’s true that I wanted you to sweep me off my feet, to make me forget everything; it was wrong, it was foolish of me to want it, but I did. Only if you had done it, you wouldn’t have been “to blame.” I should have loved you for ever because you could do it. And now, because you couldn’t I despise you. Now you know. … Go.

LANCELOT. No, Guenevere, you don’t despise me. You’re angry with me and angry with yourself because you couldn’t quite forget King Arthur. You are blaming me and I am blaming you, isn’t it amusing?

GUENEVERE. You are right, Lancelot. It’s my fault. Oh, I envy women who can dare to make fools of themselves who forget everything and don’t care what they do! I suppose that’s love–and I’m not up to it.

LANCELOT. You are different….

GUENEVERE. Different? Yes, I’m a coward. I’m not primitive enough. Despise me. You’ve a right to. And–please go.

LANCELOT. I’m afraid I’m not very primitive either, Gwen. I–

GUENEVERE. I’m afraid you’re not, Lance. That’s the trouble with us. We’re civilized. Hopelessly civilized. We had a spark of the old barbaric flame–but it went out. We put it out–quenched it with conversation. No, Lancelot, we’ve talked our hour away. It’s time for you to pack up. Good-bye.


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