Christmas in Three Acts – Act 3: Herod

The third of three Christmas season monologues. This one once again uses the on stage screen to display the lines of a second character thus putting the audience members in the place of that character.

For Herod I used an accent similar to something generically middle eastern. Pick almost any local character from any film about the crusades.

Feel free to use any of these monologues as you have need! Merry Christmas.

<Graphic on screen:” Your Highness?”>

<reading from an imaginary scroll, holding up a hand> A moment…<putting down the scroll> Yes Shimri, what news of the easterners?

<Graphic on screen: ” Forgive me your highness but…they have left the kingdom”>

 <frowning> My instructions were clear were they not? Did I not tell them to find this child and report back to me? Were they not shown the courtesy of MY palace coming begging at my door looking for this ….how did they put it…he who was to be born king of the Jews? They defy me in my own kingdom, seeking their would be usurper?

<growing angry> King of the jews?!?! I am Herod…THE GREAT.

<losing it> I am king of the Jews!!!!!

<pacing, growing slowly cold and calculating>

 <Graphic on screen: “Yes, my king.”>

They claim to have seen signs these…astrologers…and yet my own wise-men do not deny that it may be so. Whether or not it is true there will be others who will follow after these three, others who share their …belief. And then what will happen? If they were to somehow manage to bring their belief to bare fruit, where would we be then? Unrest? Rebellion? Death? And where would that lead, an upstart king who has no knowledge of the delicate balance we must maintain with Rome. No, no…not that. I must protect my people. I must protect my throne…MY throne.

<paces a moment more then pauses as though struck by an idea>

 Shimri, you are a scribe and I see you carry your scrolls with you today. Good, good…read to me the passage concerning Pharaoh and the Hebrew mid-wives, I believe you know the one.

<Graphic on screen:The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.” >

<listening, then holding up a hand>

 You see Shimri we shall not make the same mistake. If this usurper is to be a king, then it stands to reason it is a male child. But we shall entrust this duty to soldiers, not to simple midwives. As it is written…so shall it be done.

<Curtain>

Herod’s perspective on the birth of Jesus was obviously self centered and self serving, something we can all to easily fall into ourselves. Picking him as the third of the three characters was the choice of the pastor doing the teaching but it made for an interesting change in perspective from the traditional conversations about the nativity.

How might looking at Christmas through someone else’s point of view help you clarify your own?

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