No Exit
By Jean-Paul Sartre

No Exit is a play about three souls trapped in Hell who find that they are to torture each other for all eternity in a never-ending circle. The characters; sadistic lesbian Inez, socialite and baby-killer Estelle, and Garcin the war-deserter chase each other around a Second-Empire drawing room - an existential version of Hell.


You mine! That's good! Well, which of you two would dare to call me his glancing stream, his crystal girl? You know too much about me, you know I'm rotten through and through... Peter, dear, think of me, fix your thoughts on me, and save me. All the time you're thinking, "my glancing stream, my crystal girl." I'm only half here, I'm only half wicked, and half of me is down there with you, clean and bright and crystal-clear as running water... Oh, just look at her face, all scarlet, like a tomato. No, it's absurd, we've laughed at her together, you and I, often and often... What's that tune? - I always loved it. Yes, the St. Louis Blues... All right, dance away, dance away. Garcin, I wish you could see her, you'd die of laughing. Only - she'll never know I see her. Yes, I see you, Olga, with your hair all about, and you do look a dope, my dear. Oh, now you're stepping on his toes. It's a scream! Hurry up! Quicker! Quicker! He's dragging her along, bundling her round and round - it's too ghastly! He always said I was so light, he loved to dance with me. [Estelle is dancing as she speaks.] I tell you, Olga, I can see you! No, she doesn't care, she's dancing right through my gaze. [Stops sharply.] What's that? What's that you said? "Our poor dear Estelle." Oh, don't be such a humbug! You didn't even shed a tear at the funeral... And she has the nerve to talk to him about her poor dear friend Estelle! How dare she discuss me with Peter! Now then, keep time. She never could dance and talk at the same time...

Oh, what's that? No, no. Don't tell him. Please, please, don't tell him. You can keep him, do what you like with him, but please don't tell him about - that. [She gives up.] All right. You can have him now. Isn't it foul, Garcin? She's told him everything, about Roger, my trip to Switzerland, the baby... "Poor Estelle wasn't exactly- " No, I wasn't exactly - True enough. He's looking grave, shaking his head, but he doesn't seem so very much surprised, not what one would expect. Keep him then - I won't haggle with you over his long eyelashes, his pretty face. They're yours for the asking. His glancing stream, his crystal. Well, the crystal's shattered to bits. "Poor Estelle!" Dance, dance, dance. On with it. But do keep time. One, two. One two. How I'd love to go down to earth for just a moment, and dance with him again. [She dances again, for some moments.] The music's growing fainter. They've turned down the lights, as they do for a tango. Why are they playing so softly? Louder, please. I can't hear. It's so far away, so far away... I - I can't hear a sound. [She stops dancing.] All over. It's the end. The earth has left me. [To Garcin.] Don't turn from me - please. Take me in your arms. [Behind Estelle's back, Inez signs to Garcin to move away.]

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