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A king is faced with the dilemma of having to punish his own daughter for a crime against the law that he loves.  He loves the law and he loves his daughter.  He resolves the problem by taking the punishment himself.
Style: Drama.  Duration:  7min
Actors: 3M 3M/F
Characters
DUKE OF EARL.  Persona is ‘50’s greaser with Boston accent (i.e. “th” sounds are completely replaced with “d”).  Doubles as narrator and “fourth wall” participant.
KING – Sits.  Very little talking.  A variation would be to select a random person to take the place of the king and have the DUKE ad lib the exclamation about the daughter and thumb through book for the king.
DA
GUARD
ATTORNEY
DEFENDANT


Script

[Fade in KING sitting in chair.  Book is propped against the chair.  Enter DUKE from wing and stands next to king.]

DUKE
What we have here is the story of the really swell king.  Of course, I’m not the king.  I’m just the duke.  The king is really way up there compared to the duke.
See, I’m the Duke of Earl and he is, like, the king... of... Earl...
Anyway, this is the king’s story.  Being king, he does stuff like make laws and if we all live by these laws, everything gets perfect and we can actually maybe live with each other.  If you mess up, though, you get people like the royal guard...

[Enter GUARD from left (stay on downstage step?)]
...who nabs you and then there’s the royal DA...

[Enter DA from left (stay on downstage step?)]
...who tells the king about all the bad stuff you did.  The king then judges you according to [beat] The Law.  You see, the king wrote the law and he really loves the law.  [To DA] Isn’t that right?

DA
Oh, he loves the law.  We all do.

DUKE
So, let’s see how this works.  [Back out of spot.]

KING
Our first court is in session.  Who do we have?

[Exit GUARD to left to get DEFENDANT]

DA
Right off the bat, your majesty, we have a case of high treason.

KING
Whoa.  High Treason!  That’s not good.

[KING reaches for book and lays it on his lap, then looks through the pages.  Keeps head down looking throughout the following.]

DUKE
This is where the king checks the law for the punishment.

[Enter GUARD bringing in DEFENDANT who resists a little.]

DEFENDANT
I’m sorry!  I didn’t mean it.  I’ll behave from now on.

GUARD
Yeah.  Till we let you go.

DA
Once guilty, always guilty.  She was a bad one, your majesty.

DUKE
Oh yeah.  She’s guilty all right.

KING
[Now looking up in recognition]
Wait a minute!  That is my daughter!

DA
Uh, what I meant, your majesty...  Oh, forget I said anything.

DUKE
Yeah.  She’s exempt.  A regular pillar.

DA
[Correcting]
Exemplary.

DUKE
Yeah, that too.

GUARD
I guess I’ll just let her go now.  [letting go]  Sorry about that, your highness.

KING
Wait!  [pointing at spot on page] There is still The Law!

DUKE
[Walking behind king and reading over his shoulder]
Okay, let’s see what we have here.  [reading] The punishment for treason is [beat] Death.

[Everyone looks at each other for a second.  KING looks straight ahead.]

DUKE
I think it is time for the royal mouthpiece.

DA
[Correcting]
Defense attorney.

[Enter ATTORNEY from left to join DUKE.]

DUKE
Whatever.  [to ATTORNEY] I think the kid needs some defense here.

ATTORNEY
Let me see.

[ATTORNEY steps behind KING and reads over his shoulder]

ATTORNEY
The...punishment...for...treason...is...death.  There are six words here!  Do you expect me to find a loophole in six words??

DUKE
Yeah.  You’re right.  We continue then.  No defense, so the DA finishes off with a little dysentery.

DA
[Correcting]
Dissertation.

DUKE
Whatever.

DA
Okay.  Her highness is guilty of past crimes.  For the death laws we usually do 40 lashes and a sword if they survive.  Guard, do you want to get things set up for it?

GUARD
[grabs girl again]
Right-o.

ATTORNEY
Wait!  I just thought of a loophole!  I think... [thinks]  It says the punishment for treason is death.  It doesn’t say whose death.

DA
Hey!  That’s right!  Anyone can take the punishment!  It doesn’t have to be her.

GUARD
Works for me.  Who gets it then?

[All slowly look towards DUKE and stare for a couple beats]

DUKE
Now wait a minute!  That is not the way the story goes -- at least the part where they are thinking of strapping ME to that post.

[Step down stage as pure narrator]
The thing is that this isn’t just any old King [gesturing to KING upstage].  He is a really swell king and this is how I heard it: They were going to kill her alright.  But, just as they were about to strike the first blow with that razory sharp whip, the king cried STOP! Then he took off his kingly robe and his royal shirt and covered her with his own body. [DUKE stretches arms over DEFENDANT depicting covering her.]  Then he said, “NOW you may proceed.” 
[DUKE leaves DEFENDANT]
Now THAT is the perfect action of a perfect king!

THE END

© 2011 John Beavers
This script may be used without royalty payment, provided no charge is made for entrance.  In return, the author would like to be notified if this drama is used and for what purpose.  You may contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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