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The Abdication (1974) Poster

Quotes

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[first lines]

Queen Kristina: I, Kristina, Sovereign of Sweden, do hereby abdicate my throne.

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Queen Kristina: Examined?

Father Dominic: A ritual cleansing.

Queen Kristina: I could better use a bath.

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Queen Kristina: I am Queen.

Cardinal Azzolino: Ex-Queen - if you'll forgive the distinction.

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Cardinal Azzolino: Where are your maid servants?

Queen Kristina: I prefer the company of men.

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Cardinal Azzolino: It took you a year to make the journey from Stockholm to Rome.

Queen Kristina: The roads were muddy.

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Cardinal Azzolino: Where should a lady go who has given up a Protestant throne to become a Catholic? Who has arrived to spend the rest of her life in Rome and the Pope refuses to let her in. Who would care to entertain a lady who has neither God nor Country?

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Queen Kristina: Well, then, Inquisitor, are your instruments of torture ready?

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Queen Kristina: What do you want from me?

Cardinal Azzolino: Seriousness and obedience.

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Cardinal Azzolino: Why did you give up the crown?

Queen Kristina: It was too heavy!

Cardinal Azzolino: Why did you never marry?

Queen Kristina: I'm allergic to gold rings.

Cardinal Azzolino: Why did you become a Catholic?

Queen Kristina: To come to a better climate.

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Cardinal Azzolino: What's the matter? Can't you sleep?

Queen Kristina: Sleep is the refuge of idiots.

Cardinal Azzolino: Why do you sleep in 20 beds?

Queen Kristina: It's more restful.

Cardinal Azzolino: Are you afraid of the dark?

Queen Kristina: That was long ago.

Cardinal Azzolino: Why did you become a Catholic?

Queen Kristina: To cure me of insomnia.

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Cardinal Azzolino: Why do you keep a dwarf? For luck?

Queen Kristina: No.

Cardinal Azzolino: Why then?

Queen Kristina: To remind me of my inner self.

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Cardinal Azzolino: She made you hate women?

Queen Kristina: Hate women? Surely you know the worst thing I'm accused of - isn't hating women.

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Queen Kristina: Have you ever found a woman of such grace that she was in every form, every gesture, exactly what a woman should be?

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Cardinal Azzolino: So, the accusations of unnatural love are true.

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Queen Kristina: Love. I was describing love. I loved that woman more than I ever loved a man. Did you never find a man you could love as I loved Ebba?

Cardinal Azzolino: My sins are mine, Kristina. We're discussing yours.

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Queen Kristina: Love is so rare. Must we deny it when we find it?

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Cardinal Azzolino: I lost my father, too, when I was very young.

Queen Kristina: Strange. I never thought of Cardinals having fathers.

Cardinal Azzolino: We do. And brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts.

Queen Kristina: But, no sons.

Cardinal Azzolino: No sons.

Queen Kristina: What a shame. And holiness could be inherited.

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Queen Kristina: Tell me all about the court of France.

Magnus de la Gardie: It's said that Louis has three mistresses.

Queen Kristina: Tell me what they wear.

Magnus de la Gardie: Well, the women have a new style.

Queen Kristina: What new style?

Magnus de la Gardie: They wear tight laces - that pull their waists in. Very small. Down here. And push the rest, way out in front, up here. Like this.

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Queen Kristina: I came here to forget.

Cardinal Azzolino: I thought you came here to understand.

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Cardinal Azzolino: This woman has spent her entire life on display to the public. Now, for a few hours, she's alone with herself. And she's no longer a Queen or a freak or a heathen or a candidate for canonization. She's a human being.

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Ebba Sparre: Kristina, I can't.

Queen Kristina: I want to know what it's like.

Ebba Sparre: Find out for yourself.

Queen Kristina: Then it will be too late. I'll be quiet. I'll hide in a corner in the dark. Magnus will never know. Please? Please.

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Magnus de la Gardie: When I touch you, you feel nothing, do you? Nothing cries out to be surrendered. To be taken! You will never be a woman - with all your Kingdom, all your wealth! No one will ever love you! You don't know how to love.

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Oxenstierna: For the sake of the country, Kristina, you must begin to think about an heir.

Queen Kristina: Make sons! Make daughters! Make sons! Make daughters!

Oxenstierna: Make joy. Make joy for all the people - if you take husband.

Queen Kristina: Would I? And what joy would I bring to myself?

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Oxenstierna: Charles admires you, deeply.

Queen Kristina: He's never mentioned it.

Oxenstierna: You know that he cannot ask for your hand.

Queen Kristina: I know. But, I will tell you a secret, Oxenstierna. If he did, I would gladly give it to him.

Oxenstierna: You would?

Queen Kristina: I would have it cut off at the wrists and have it sent to him in a velvet box. As for giving him one more inch of my body, I will never do it.

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Charles: What do you want me to say?

Queen Kristina: I want you to describe it.

Charles: What?

Queen Kristina: Our wedding night. Why don't you speak? I order you to speak!

[Charles runs away]

Queen Kristina: Tell me what you'll do to me!

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Cardinal Azzolino: Do you think young priests put on a cassock one day and all their earthly longings vanish in the air?

Queen Kristina: And how do they bear it?

Cardinal Azzolino: They devote themselves to good works and cold baths.

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Oxenstierna: Kristina, you must marry Charles. It is your duty.

Queen Kristina: I - am Queen of Sweden. By reason of my exulted rank and privilege, I am allowed anything I want. I'm allowed to marry a man I do not love. I allowed by night to submit to God knows what idiotic fumblings and horrors and by day to rule the fumbler and the entire world. If there's one thing you have taught me since I could hear, it is the specialness of me. Kings rule! And indulge between the sheets in every sort of pleasure. Then, they go off to battle and joyfully await news of the arrival of their sons. Find me a man who will bear my children.

Oxenstierna: Kristina...

Queen Kristina: Find me a battalion of men who will each let me have my way with them and then will watch me ride out of their lives forever at the dawn. Find me a chance encounter at the hill, where I pursue and he takes the consequences.

Oxenstierna: Kristina, you realize you're asking the impossible.

Queen Kristina: I am Queen. I can have anything I want. And I tell you I will not submit my body and my mind to what is asked of me.

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Cardinal Azzolino: Charles was no match for you.

Queen Kristina: Who on God's earth would be a match for me?

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Queen Kristina: Bring the goblet to my apartment tonight.

Cardinal Azzolino: What are you doing, Kristina?

Queen Kristina: Courting you.

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Queen Kristina: Is marriage a natural state - of the most unnatural?

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Oxenstierna: Marriage is the natural state.

Queen Kristina: Not to me!

Oxenstierna: It's God's way of renewing the generations.

Queen Kristina: My pig renewed the generations yesterday. And, as far as I know, she was never a bride.

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Queen Kristina: Tell me of the peace to be found in Christ. Tell me of the visions of the saints. Tell me of love! Joy! God! Tell me of ecstasy!

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Oxenstierna: Kristina, what do you want?

Queen Kristina: I want to be loved.

Oxenstierna: The people love you.

Queen Kristina: Send them to my bedroom.

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Queen Kristina: I don't need the Church to bring me to God. I was born with God within me!

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Cardinal Azzolino: Is there no possible association between a man and a woman except the sexual? Despite centuries of learning, does it all come down to that one animal fact? How dare they say that we are that much or that little to each other. God save me from the common mind.

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Cardinal Azzolino: God save me from myself.

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Cardinal Azzolino: I do love. I do want. I do desire.

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Queen Kristina: This is the purpose of my life: to abdicate everything.

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[last lines]

Queen Kristina: Are we not the world's strangest couple? Saying no to each other. And that's the greatest gift we each can give.

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