Jean Cocteau


The Two-Headed Eagle


tr. C. Mulrooney



Author's Preface

She could not count on anything,

not even on chance. Since there

exist some lives without chance.


H. de Balzac





The Queen, 30

Edith de Berg, 23

Stanislas (called Azrael), 25

Felix de Willenstein, 36

Count de Foëhn, 45

Tony (black deaf-mute serving the queen)

Act I: The queen’s chamber.


Act II: The queen’s library.


Act III: The same.


The tragedy of Krantz will always remain an enigma. How did the assassin get in the queen’s apartments? Employing what menace did he stay there for three days? The queen was found fatally stabbed in the back, at the top of the stairs in the library. She wore a riding habit and had just reviewed her troops at the window. For the first time, she there had presented herself with an unconcealed face.


The assassin was lying dead at the foot of the stairs, struck by poison. The tragedy offers numerous descriptions. Historical, scientific, poetical, subjective, political, all of these are credible.