111 Shakespeare Monologues for Young Actors

Audition Monologues, Classic Theatre, Shakespeare

 

   * Edited by Lisa Bansavage & L.E. McCullough, Ph.D.

     With a special introduction on Shakespearean speech by Jill K. Swanson

   * ISBN: 1-57525-356-9

   * Retail List Price: $17.00 (check online retailers for other prices)

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FOR YOUNG ACTORS wishing to hone their skills on a master course, this book offers a selection of age-appropriate audition material from one of the greatest monologue writers of all time, William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

 

The characters who speak herein are either teens or young adults, and for the most part they speak of youthful things that have remained conversational topics and concerns of young people through the centuries:  love and romance, pranks and jokes, boasts and demonstrations of physical prowess, and — on the darker side of the psyche — deceit, greed and violence.

 

Aside from their youth orientation, these 111 monologues were chosen to span a variety of character type and tone, with lengths ranging from 15 seconds to two minutes flat. Twenty-nine of Shakespeare’s 37 plays are represented, offering a full cross-section of the Bard’s canon.

 

The monologues in this book are organized by gender and then by the genre of the play — Comedy, History, Tragedy. A few monologues are spoken by actors of unspecified gender and may be performed by either women or men. Each monologue also possesses a particular tone — comic, serious or seriocomic (a mixture of serious and comic, as when someone speaks seriously about a humorous subject).

Basic scene setting information has been provided, along with stage directions helpful in setting character action or framing the scene. The introduction by Shakespeare scholar Jill K. Swanson discusses Shakespeare’s prose and verse styles; actress Lisa Bansavage offers tips on auditioning with Shakespeare monologues.

Listing of monologue excerpts with character

All material © 2003 Lisa Bansavage, L.E. McCullough & Jill K. Swanson

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FEMALE MONOLOGUES:  Comedies

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Helena

Call you me fair? That fair again unsay.

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Helena

How happy some o'er other some can be!

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Helena

O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hermia

Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hermia

Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse

 

All’s Well That Ends Well. Helena

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie

 

All’s Well That Ends Well. Helena

Then, I confess, here on my knee

 

As You Like It. Phebe

I would not be thy executioner

 

As You Like It. Phebe

Think not I love him, though I ask for him

 

As You Like It. Rosalind

And why, I pray you? Who might be your mother

 

The Comedy of Errors. Adriana

His company must do his minions grace

 

The Comedy of Errors. Courtezan

Now, out of doubt, Antipholus is mad

 

The Comedy of Errors. Luciana

And may it be that you have quite forgot

 

Cymbeline. Imogen

Away, I do condemn mine ears that have

 

Cymbeline. Imogen

I false! Thy conscience witness: Iachimo

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Princess

Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Princess

See, see my beauty will be sav'd by merit

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Rosaline

Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Rosaline

They are worse fools to purchase mocking so.

 

Measure for Measure. Isabella

O you beast! O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!

 

Measure for Measure. Isabella

To whom should I complain? Did I tell this

 

Much Ado About Nothing. Beatrice

What fire is in mine ears?

 

Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Marina

I am a maid, my lord, that ne'er before invited eyes

 

The Merchant of Venice. Portia

The quality of mercy is not strain'd

 

The Merchant of Venice. Portia

You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand

 

The Taming of the Shrew. Katharina

Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow

 

The Taming of the Shrew. Katharina

The more my wrong, the more his spite appears

 

The Tempest. Miranda

If by your art, my dearest father, you have

 

The Winter’s Tale. Hermione

Since what I am to say must be but that

 

The Winter’s Tale. Hermione

Sir, spare your threats

 

Troilus and Cressida. Cressida

Hard to seem won: but I was won, my lord

 

Twelfth Night. Olivia

O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful

 

Twelfth Night. Olivia

'What is your parentage?'

 

Twelfth Night. Viola

I left no ring with her: what means this lady?

 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. Julia

How many women would do such a message?

 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. Julia

Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same!

 

FEMALE MONOLOGUES:  Histories

 

Henry IV Part I. Lady Percy

O, my good lord, why are you thus alone?

 

Henry IV Part II. Lady Percy

O yet, for God's sake, go not to these wars!

 

Henry VI Part I. Joan La Pucelle

First, let me tell you whom you have condemn'd

 

Henry VI Part I. Joan La Pucelle

Look on thy country, look on fertile France

 

Richard III. Anne

No! why? When he that is my husband now

 

Richard III. Anne

Set down, set down your honourable load

 

FEMALE MONOLOGUES:  Tragedies

 

Hamlet. Ophelia

O my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

 

Hamlet. Ophelia

O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!

 

Julius Caesar. Portia

Is Brutus sick, and is it physical

 

King Lear. Cordelia

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

 

Othello. Desdemona

My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty

 

Othello. Desdemona

O good Iago, what shall I do to win my lord again?

 

Othello. Desdemona

That I did love the Moor to live with him

 

Romeo and Juliet. Juliet

Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds

 

Romeo and Juliet. Juliet

The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse

 

Romeo and Juliet. Juliet

Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face

FEMALE/MALE MONOLOGUES:  Comedies

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Flute

Asleep, my love?

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck

If we shadows have offended

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck

My mistress with a monster is in love.

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck

The King doth keep his revels here to-night

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Puck

Through the forest have I gone.

 

The Tempest. Ariel

I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking

MALE MONOLOGUES:  Comedies

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Demetrius

My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lysander

You have her father's love, Demetrius

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Quince

If we offend, it is with our good will.

 

All’s Well That Ends Well. Bertram

Titled goddess; And worth it, with addition!

 

As You Like It. Jaques

All the world's a stage

 

As You Like It. Oliver

Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me

 

As You Like It. Oliver

When last the young Orlando parted from you

 

As You Like It. Orlando

As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion

 

As You Like It. Orlando

I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts

 

As You Like It. Orlando

Why, how now, Adam! no greater heart in thee?

 

Cymbeline. Posthumus

Sleep, thou hast been a grandsire

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Biron

Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Biron

I can but say their protestation over

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Biron

Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Biron

This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease

 

Love's Labour's Lost. Biron

What, I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife!

 

Measure for Measure. Claudio

Ay, but to die, and go we know not where

 

Measure for Measure. Claudio

Thus stands it with me: upon a true contract

 

Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick

O, she misused me past the endurance of a block!

 

Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick

This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne.

 

Much Ado About Nothing. Borachio

Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is?

 

Much Ado About Nothing. Borachio

Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer:

 

The Comedy of Errors. Antipholus of Syracuse

He that commends me to mine own content

 

The Comedy of Errors. Antipholus of Syracuse

Upon my life, by some device or other

 

The Comedy of Errors. Dromio of Ephesus

I am an ass, indeed

 

The Merchant of Venice. Bassanio

O sweet Portia, Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words

 

The Merchant of Venice. Bassanio

Sweet Portia, If you did know to whom I gave the ring

 

The Merchant of Venice. Bassanio

Tis not unknown to you, Antonio

 

The Merchant of Venice. Bassanio

What find I here?

 

The Merchant of Venice. Lorenzo

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

 

The Taming of the Shrew. Biondello

Why, Petruchio is coming in a new hat and an old jerkin

 

The Taming of the Shrew. Petruchio

Thus have I politicly begun my reign

 

The Winter’s Tale. Florizel

What you do still betters what is done.

 

Troilus and Cressida. Troilus

O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus

 

Twelfth Night. Sebastian

This is the air; that is the glorious sun

 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. Launce

Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping

 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. Proteus

Even as one heat another heat expels

 

MALE MONOLOGUES:  Histories

 

Henry IV Part I. Hotspur

My liege, I did deny no prisoners.

 

Henry IV Part I. Hotspur

Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king

 

Henry V. Chorus

Now all the youth of England are on fire

 

Henry V. Chorus

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

 

Henry V. Henry

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

 

Henry VI Part II. Young Clifford

Shame and confusion! all is on the rout

 

Henry VI. Part III. Son

Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.

 

MALE MONOLOGUES:  Tragedies

 

Hamlet. Hamlet

O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!

 

Hamlet. Hamlet

To be, or not to be: that is the question:

 

Othello. Cassio

Madam, my former suit: I do beseech you

 

Romeo and Juliet. Benvolio

Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo's hand did slay

 

Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio

O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.

 

Romeo and Juliet. Romeo

Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still

 

Romeo and Juliet. Romeo

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

 

Romeo and Juliet. Romeo

In faith, I will. Let me peruse this face.

 

Titus Andronicus. Demetrius

Why makest thou it so strange?

FEMALE/MALE MONOLOGUES: Histories

 

Henry V. Chorus

Now all the youth of England are on fire

 

Henry V. Chorus

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

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