Scene 21

(Kirilov’s house)

Kirilov: You killed Shatov! You killed him! You killed him!

Peter: I have explained it a hundred times. Shatov was on the point of denouncing us all.

Kirilov: Shut up. You killed him because he spat on your face.

Peter: For that. And for many other things too. What’s the matter with you? Oh…

(Kirilov has taken a revolver out and is aiming at him. Peter takes his out too.)

Kirilov: You had got your weapon ready in advance because you were afraid I would kill you. But I’ll not kill. Although…although…

Peter: I knew you wouldn’t shoot. But you took a big risk. I was going [ ... ]

Kirilov: I’m sorry about Shatov.

Peter: So am I.

Kirilov: Shut up you wretch, or I’ll kill you.

Peter: All right. I don’t’ regret him…Besides there’s not much time. I must take a train at sawn and cross the frontier.

Kirilov: I understand. You are leaving your crimes behind and taking shelter for yourself. Filthy swine!

Peter: Filth and decency are just words. Everything is just words.

Kirilov: All my life I wanted there to be something other than words. That’s what I lived for, so that words would have a meaning, so that they would be deeds also…

Peter: And so…

Kirilov: So…Oh, you’re the last man I shall ever see. I don’t want us to end in hatred.

Peter: I assure you that I have nothing against you personally.

Kirilov: We are both miserable wretches, and I am going to kill myself and you will go on living.

Peter: Of course I shall go on living. I am a coward. It’s despicable I know.

Kirilov: Yes, Yes, it’s despicable.(Puts down gun.) Listen. Do you remember what Christ Crucified said to the thief who was dying on his right had? “Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” The day ended, they died, and there was neither Paradise nor Resurrection. And yet he was the greatest man on earth. Without that man the whole planet and everything on it is simply meaningless. Well, if the laws of nature did not even spare such a man, if they forced him to live in lies and to die for a lie, then this whole planet is but a lie. What is the good of living, then? Answer if you are a man.

Peter: Yes, what is the point of living! I have understood your point of view completely. If God is a lie, then we are alone and free. You kill your self and prove you are free and there is no God. But for that you must kill yourself.

Kirilov: You have understood. Ah! Everyone will understand if even a low scoundrel like you can understand. But someone has to begin and kill himself to prove to the others the terrible freedom of man. I am unfortunate because I am the first and because I am dreadfully frightened. I am God only for a short time. But I shall begin and open the door. And all men will be happy; they will all be Gods and forever. Ah! Give me the pen. Dictate and I’ll sign anything. Even that I killed Shatov. Dictate. I don’t fear anyone; everything is a matter of indifference. All that is hidden will be known, and you will be crushed. I believe. I believe. Dictate.

Peter: I Alexey Kirilov, declare…

Kirilov: Yes. To whom? To whom? I want to know to whom I am making this declaration.

Peter: To no one, to everyone. Why specify? To the whole world.

Kirilov: To the whole world! Bravo. And without repenting. I don’t want any repenting. I don’t want to address myself to the authorities. Go ahead dictate. The universe is evil. I’ll sign.

Peter: Yes, the universe is evil. And down with the authorities! Write.

Kirilov: Wait a minute! I want to draw on the top the page a face sticking out it’s tounge.

Peter: No. No drawing. The tone is enough.

Kirilov: The tone-yes that’s it. Dictate the tone.

Peter: “I declare that this morning I killed the student Shatov in the woods for his betrayal and his denunciation in the matter of the proclamation.”

Kirilov: Is that all? I want to insult them too.

Peter: That’s enough. Give it to me now. But you haven’t dated it or signed it. Sign it now.

Kirilov: I want to insult them.

Peter: Put down “long live the Republic.” That’ll get them.

Kirillov: Yes, Yes. No I’m going to put: “Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death.” There. And then in French: “gentilhomme, séminartiste russe et citoyen du mond civilize.” There! There! (he takes up the revolver) At once! At once! (the shot, Kirilov falla)

Peter: Perfect!

(Exits)