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> Short story of si kesa at morito?

Short story of si kesa at morito?

The Soliloquy of Morito, the Samurai

Outside the gates of the house, Morito walks up and down over the dead leaves. Sunk in thought, he gazes at the moon.

Ah, the moon is already risen. I, who usually long for its light, have today dreaded this brightness. The Morito who has existed hitherto is to disappear forever in the course of this one night. Tomorrow I shall be a murderer! At the thought, I feel my whole body trembling. I picture the moment, so rapidly approaching, when these two hands will be drenched with another's blood. Oh, what a vile creature shall I seem to myself! The movie more vile because I feel no hatred for the man I am about to slay.

I remember him from long ago. His name and rank - Lieutenant Wataru of the outer Palace Guards - I have learned only recently, but the man himself, with his pale, gentle face, I have known ever since I can remember. At one time, on first discovering that he was Kesa's husband, I felt bitterly jealous of him, but now my jealousy has vanished without a trace. Though Wataru may still be my rival in love, I have for him neither hatred nor resentment. Indeed, my strongest feeling for him is one of sympathy. When I learned from Kesa's aunt how he dad tried to gain her niece's love, I even experienced for Wataru a certain affection. In his efforts to win Kesa for his wife, he went so far as to study the composition of poetry, and when I used to imagine the sort of poem that issued from the pen of this sober warrior, I could never help smiling. NOr was it a smile of derision. Always I was touched but the single mindedness of this man who went to such lengths to gain a lady's favor. In a way it has been satisfying to think of someone exerting himself so greatly for the love of a woman whom I myself love.

But do I really love Kesa? As I think back on our relationship, the answer to that question seems doubtful. I did, indeed, believe that I loved her before she ever married Wataru. Yet looking back now, I can see this love for what it really was. At that time I was still chaste, and I desired her ardently. Was my love anything more, in fact than the sentimental embellishment of this physical desire? Then came the years of her marriage when we no longer saw each other, yet Kesa was constantly in my mind. However, I ask myself if this would have been true had I already known her physically. As it was, my feeling for her was always tinged with a sense of frustration. This sense of frustration it was that led to our present relationship, which I had feared and at the same time eagerly awaited. And what now? Again I ask myself, "Do I really Kesa?"

I must sum up the happenings of the past. It was three years since I had seen her when I ran into Kesa by chance at the dedication of the Watanaba Bridge. After that, I tried to devise a way of meeting her in secret, and at last succeeded. Indeed, I succeeded not only in meeting her, but of possessing her as I had dreamed of doing all those years. And yet my meeting with Kesa was a terrible disappointment. As we sat side by side on the straw mats in the house of her aunt, I realized that my desire for her was far less powerful than formerly - in part, perhaps, because I was no longer chaste, in larger part because Kesa was less beautiful than before.

Yes, the Kesa before me was quite a different woman from the Kesa of the past. Her skin had lost its luster and there were dark rings beneath her eyes. The voluptuous texture of her flesh had disappeared - if, indeed, its very existence had not been in my imagination alone. The one thing that had not changed was her eyes: those dark. intense eyes of hers. This transformation in Kesa drained me of desire; I remember that my involuntary reaction on at last finding myself face to face with her was - to avert my glance.

Why, then, did I make love to her, now that I felt so little regret at not having done so in the past? For one thing, I was moved by a strange desire to subjugate this woman. Sitting beside me, Kesa went out of her way to describe in exaggerated terms her love for her husband, Yet somehow the words did not ring true. All this is only vanity, I said to myself. Or perhaps, I thought, she is trying to forestall my pity. I had a desire to expose her - a desire perhaps motivated by conceit, yet based on the conviction that these protestations of wifely love were not genuine. This I believed firmly, and my opinion has not changed.

I hesitated to admit to myself a yet baser motive. I was gripped by pure lust that day. Love played no part, and indeed, any other woman would have suited me as well. As I think back, my actions seems to me as that of a man who possesses a prostitute for pay.

So, pushed on by vanity and lust, I made love to Kesa, or humiliated her, it might be more honest to say, "Why ask myself now whether I love Kesa? What I felt for her then was closer to loathing. I remember that after it was over, she threw herself down and burst into tears. When I raised her head and made her look at me, she appeared to me even more despicable than myself. The tousled hair and perspiring face, smeared with make-up, symbolized for me the ugliness of this woman's body and mind. Any love I may have had died at that moment, and hatred took its place. Yet it si for the sake of this woman whom I do not love that I am about to kill a man I do not hate!

The fearsome idea sprung into being that very moment. Holding her soiled body in my arms, I heard my words issue forth, as if another person were speaking them. "I must kill Wataru, must I not?' I whispered to her, and now that I think back, it seems to me that I was mad. Never will I fully understand what made me say them! Despising and hating Kesa, did I have an irresistible urge to add still further to her humiliation? How better do so than by obtaining her consent to the murder of Wataru - Wataru, the man she pretended so to love? Thus, as in a nightmare, I urged her to acquiescence to a crime which I had not the slightest desire to commit! Surely a demon spirit possessed my will, stifling all rational faculties. Or else a force I am yet unable to define made me whisper that fearful suggestion in her ear.

And suddenly she raised her head, looking me fully in the eye. "Yes, you must kill him," she said to me. I was utterly appalled at the swiftness of her compliance. For the first time I noticed a strange brightness in her eyes; and I knew that this was no innocent victim of my lust, but a vulgar adulteress.

Bitter disappointment gripped me, and at the same moment I first realized the full horror of my plan. I was disgusted by this vulgar, licentious woman with her withered looks, and would have given anything to take back my words. Though far from pure myself, I could then have taken refuge in moral indignation, damning her for her infidelity. Now even this hypocritical consolation was barred me. I knew that the die was cast when Kesa, with that new expression in her eyes, gazed at me though she were seeing straight into my heart.

Not only hatred, but a new emotion took possession of me then. A fear of Kesa had been born, for I knew without a shadow of doubt that she would retaliate were I to break our pact. My fright it was which made me fix the day and hour of the deed, and to this moment my fear of her still owns me. Cowardly I may be, yet anyone who saw Kesa as I saw her would have been as cowardly! Though she was crying, her eyes were dry. With despair, I realized that if I did not kill Wataru, then it was I who would meet death through her machinations. As I gazed at her, aghast, I saw a smile form on her mouth, and a dimple - yes, a dimple - sprang into her cheek.

My cursed words have bound me yet further to defile my heart. True, the deed has not yet been perpetrated. Even at this last moment, could I not still break the pledge? But no, it is not possible! Fearing the revenge of Kesa, I must stand by my word. Yet in my heart I know that it is not only fear that is driving me, a coward, to kill a guiltless an. What is this other force - this force that drives me on? Can it be - No, no, I must brush the thought aside! I despise Kesa, fear her, even hate her. Can it be that with all this - I nevertheless still love her?

Morito continues to pace up and down silently in the moonlight. Out of the night comes the sound of a voice singing an ancient ballad:

"Lost in utter darkness
Is the human heart.
It flames for a moment with earthly lust,
Then fades into obscurity."

Part II

The Soliloquy of Lady Kesa

Night. In her bedroom, her back to the lamp. Kesa distractedly gnaws at her sleeve, sunk in thought.

Will he come, or will he not? Unthinkable is ti that Morito should not come, but the moon has already faded and there is no sound of footsteps. This little lamp alone relieves the darkness of the house.
Can he have changed his mind? Oh, it is not possible! Should Morito fail me, then I must live the rest of my life in shame, like a harlot, never daring to raise my head to the light. Degradation and shame will be my lot. No better will I be than a corpse cast by the wayside. Humiliated and despised, I shall have to remain silent when my shame has been brought to light. Even my own death will not suffice to put a term to it.
But Morito will come. This much I have known ever since I gazed into his eyes that fateful day, and saw terror written there. Mingled with his hatred and scorn is that deadly fear of me, and it is which brings him here tonight. Not on my charms am I counting, but on the base fear in Morito's heart. Soon, soon, I shall hear him creeping stealthily toward this house.
Ah, what a wretched woman have I become to reason thus! My heart is wrung when I think of the change in me. Confident in my beauty, I once lived in the knowledge that I could make men act as I willed. Only when I met Morito in my aunt's house that day did I know that my beauty was dead. I could see my ugliness reflected in his eyes. Warm and seductive were his words, but it needs more than seductive words to reassure a woman who has once become aware of her own ugliness. Anger and grief swept over me, and there came back to me the melancholy feeling I experienced one night as a child when my nurse held me up to view an eclipse of the moon.
Incomparably more desolate did I feel this other time in my aunt's house. All the dreams locked in my heart were blasted in one moment and a cloak of sadness descended on me, like the sadness of a rainy dawn. Shuddering, I yielded my dead body to this lecher whom I did not love.
What could have thrust me into that act of shame? Perhaps it was the feeling of loneliness brought on by my own ugliness. Perhaps I sought to forget my pain by losing myself in one delirious moment. Or could it be that I was gripped by the same impure desires as Morito himself? The thought fills me with shame. Ah, how I hated myself after I had left his arms and regained possession of my body! Tears of anger and loneliness wet my cheeks. Not only had I lost my virtue, but I had lost it to a man who hated me like some leprous dog.
And then? Thinking back now, subsequent events seem as vague as if they happened int he far-distant past. I remember that as I rose, still convulsed with tears, I felt his mustache touch my ear, felt his warm breath on my cheek. "I must kill Wataru, must I not?" he whispered to me, and a fearsome excitement gripped me at those words. Terrible as they were they nonetheless offered me a glimmer of consolation. Should not I, should not any woman, feel gratified at the knowledge that a man loved her to such an extent - yes, even though his love might cost her the life of her husband.
For a long while my sobbing continued and into my dark, lonesome soul filtered a chill light that was like light of the moon, not the sun. At some time I must have given my assent to his gruesome proposal, and it was not until then that I really thought of my husband for the first time. Stricken with despair, I had thought only of myself and my shame, but now I thought of my husband, my gentle husband. Vividly I saw his face smiling as it always smiles when he speaks to me.
That was when my plan took shape. At that moment I determined that I should die in his place. Briefly my decision brought calm, but when I looked at Morito and again saw my ugliness reflected in his eyes, my resignation vanished. Once again, I remembered that eclipse of the moon, seen as a child in the arms of my nurse. All the dark thoughts flooded back. Then I knew that it was not out of Love of my husband that I had decided to sacrifice my life for him; it was only because I had found a convenient way to atone for the sin of adultery. I lacked the courage to take my own life, but wanted to appear to the outside world as a little better than I was.
Yes, I had caught sight of my hidden motive. At the same time, I realized that another still baser motive lurked behind it. Under the pretext of dying for my husband, was I not seeking to revenge myself on Morito for his hatred and contempt, for his having used my body as an instrument to satisfy his lust? Looking into his face that awful night, I understood myself for the first time, and my heart froze within me. Now I know for certain that I am not dying for my husband. I am dying for myself! I am dying to obtain revenge on Morito for having wounded my heart and sullied my body. Not only have I no purpose in living on; I lack even a worthy purpose for which to end my life.
Yes, purposeless my death will be, but is not now even a purposeless death eminently to be desired. Forcing a smile, I agreed to help him murder my husband, Morito is an astute man and from my tone he must have sensed what I would do should he dare to break his word. But no, he will keep his word: vey soon he will be here… Was that the wind blowing against my shutters?… When I realize that after tonight my torturing thoughts will no longer pursue me, I am quite overcome with relief. Tomorrow's sun will throw its chilly rays on my lifeless body. My husband when he sees me - But no, I must not think of my husband! He loves me, but I lack the strength to return his love. I am a woman who can love but one man, and that man is coming here to kill me tonight. I have been dragged into darkness by my sinister lover. Now even the weak flicker of this little lamp seems to me like a dazzling flame…
Kesa blows out the lamp. Presently there is the faint sound in the darkness of a shutter being opened. The pale moonlight streams into the room.

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First answer by Mr.UsEmAn. Last edit by Mr.UsEmAn. Contributor trust: 0 [recommend contributor]. Question popularity: 55 [recommend question].

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