Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jane Eyre: Leaving Scene

(Jane opens her door. She has changed from her wedding dress to a plain dark dress. Rochester is lying on the floor outside of her room. He lifts his head at her appearance)

Rochester: (Stands up) Jane. Forgive me, I'm worthless, how could I?

(Jane comes up to him. He holds his hand infront of the doorway and looks her up and down.)

Rochester: (softly) Jane?...No tears? Why don't you cry? Why not scream at me? I deserve a hail of fire.

Jane: I need some water.

Rochester: Of course.

(He lets her pass, but Jane gets woozy. She leans on a table nearby)

Rochester: Jane....

(Her picks her up in his arms and carries her away. Cut to: Rochester lights a fire. It burns and slowly lights Jane's face. He crouches in front of the fire, looking at her, and then stands up to pour her a glass of wine. He offers it to her and kneels beside her chair while she drinks. She finishes it and hands it back to him. He replaces it on the table, still kneeling beside her. He doesn't take his eyes off of her.)

Rochester: How are you now?

Jane: I will be well again.

(Rochester looks at her still. Hesitantly, he inclines his face to kiss her. She refuses him, holding her head away and trying to repress tears. He drops his eyes, stung by her refusal, and then stands up in front of her, looking down at her.)

Rochester: I know you. You're thinking. Talking is of no use, you're thinking how to act.

Jane: All has changed sir. I must leave you.


(He crouches in front of her, trying to control the passion in his voice.)

Rochester: Jane, do you love me?

(Jane nods, her eyes filling with tears)

Rochester: (softly and desperately) Then the essential things are the same! Be my wife...

Jane: You have a wife!

Rochester: I pledge you my honor, my fidelity--

Jane: (Tears) You cannot!

Rochester: My love, until death do us part!

Jane: What of truth?

Rochester: I would have told you the truth...

 Jane: You are deceitful sir!

Rochester: (sighs)...I was wrong to deceive you, I see that now. It was cowardly. I should have appealed to your spirit as I do now. Bertha Antoinetta Mason was wanted by my father for her fortune. I hardly spoke with her before the wedding. I lived with her for four years. Her temper ripened. Her vices sprang up, violent and unchaste. Only cruelty would check her, and I'd not use cruelty. I was chained to her for life, Jane. Not even the law could free me. Have you ever set foot in a madhouse, Jane?

Jane: No sir.

Rochester: The inmates are caged and baited like beasts...I spared her that at least...(softly) Jane?

Jane: I earnestly pity you sir.

Rochester: (barely audible) no.

(He reaches up to stroke her face. She resists, tears gliding down her cheeks.)

Rochester: Who would you offend by living with me? Who would care?

Jane: I would!

Rochester: (His eyes fill with tears. We can se his desparation growing.) You would rather drive me to madness than break a mere human law?

Jane: I must respect myself.

 (Rochester clenches his hands on her arms.)

Rochester: listen to me...(he runs his hands up to her neck, holding it tightly between his fingers with great tension, as if strangling her. He speeks softly but passionately through his teeth.) Listen. (Lays his forehead on her chest, his shoulders shaking as he begins to cry.) I could bend you with my finger and my thumb. A mere reed you feel in my hands! (Jane struggles and stands up, shaking his hold. Rochester lays his head on her stomach and raps his arms around her. Jane is sobbing now while Rochester continues to cry.)...But whatever I do with this cage, I cannot get at you...because it is your soul that I want! Why won't you come of your own free will?

Jane: God help me!

(She pulls herself away from him and pushes his arms away from her, leaving the room. Rochester stays where he was, his eyes following her desperately.)


  1. My favorite scene in the movie and worth the price of admission alone. It's not as long as it is in the novel or in the 1983 adaptation, but it truly captures the essence of that scene. Wonderful acting from them both and beautifully filmed.

  2. This scene had me in absolute TEARS. I don't like sobbing in the middle of movie theatres, but I couldn't help it. Both actors were at their best in this scene. Mia conveyed exactly what I imagined Jane feeling and Michael's desparation was amazing. When he gets violent, I can feel the tension and absolute need.