Top Ten Lines from “Christina, the Girl King”

By Topher Kielbasa

Sex, violence, intrigue, philosophy, science, religion, politics, and blasphemy pepper the language of Christina, the Girl King. Here are one dramaturge’s top ten lines:

10. “JOHAN! If only grace could reach your brain and guide the movement from the top down, I’d have reason to be proud of you.” – Axel

Axel is one of the most dynamic characters in the play. He is simultaneously trying to keep the best interests of his son, Johan, his adopted daughter, Christina, and his country in mind. And while these interests continually clash, Axel still finds a way to make some astute observations.

9. “‘A girl?! How clever of her! How mischievous already! She fooled us! This girl will prove to be as worthy as any boy. We were expecting a prince, we shall raise her as the greatest prince of all.’” – Axel

Axel again, yes, but he’s quoting Christina’s father, King Gustav II. To step back and really take this line in, one realizes that of course women are as capable as men at anything—it all depends on whether they are given the chance.

8. “It announces your arrival, that’s all.” – Erika

Erika gets the shoulder a lot in the world of Christina. Second lady-in-waiting, she’s often treated second class. But she can sling some insults as well and this one stirs the gut hard in response to Johan asking what effect the sound of his magnificent boots makes.

7. “Every time her hymen is threatened, instead of calling for help, she calls for “scholars, schools, libraries”!” – Johan

In reference to Christina. Fight the patriarchy. Educate.

6. “Do you know what it’s like to long for the smell and feel of someone?” – Karl Gustav

Karl Gustav is nursing some serious feelings toward Christina. Whatever your feelings about love, this line packs a lot of truth regarding the intimacy and connection that can develop between two people. Remember this line at the close of the play and I promise it will heighten the emotion.

5. “Seeing you again reminds me that not every absence is a terrible weight.” – Christina

Truth. You don’t need bullshit in your life.

4. “You will lose your taste for reading. You will find philosophy banal. You will praise God for the joy of sharing your bed with me every night. And our children will be beautiful.” – Johan

Patriarchy defined.

3. “Treat your people like idiots and they will adore you.” – Johan

Despite being set in 17th century Sweden, there are echoes of 21st century America throughout the play.

2. “A luminous mind in the body of a warrior!” – Axel

There is total bias for this line being number 2. Tony Bozzuto delivers a stellar performance as Axel. This line launches one of the most powerful moments of the play for me. Every single time I have seen it, I am so viscerally moved by its end. I’ve no shame in admitting that I will randomly shout this line throughout the day no matter what I’m doing.

1.“Our conscience is the only mirror that flatters no one.” – Axel

Wrap your head around that.


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