Having trouble finding good monologues for upcoming auditions? When looking for monologues, remember that the one you choose should be appropriate for your age, gender, and the type of show you are auditioning for. Here are some good monologues that we suggest using. Feel free to copy/paste any of these monologues into word documents and use for auditions.
Table of Contents:
NOTE: Boys may read monologues in the “Female” sections and girls may read monologues in the “Male” sections, just be aware of any changes that may be necessary for pronouns within the monologues. The age groupings are not a strict rule, they are simply a general guideline of what type of monologue would work best for each age group.
- Some directors require your audition monologue to be memorized. At Kidz Konnection, we do not require memorization before an audition, but we would prefer that you are at least comfortable reading your monologue. Memorization is impressive, if possible, but not necessary.
- Many monologues are directed at the audience. This is called “breaking the 4th wall”. Imagine that the stage is a room with four walls. You look beside and behind you and you have walls 1, 2, and 3. Look out where the audience sits. That should be wall 4, and as a general rule, actors should not look directly at that wall because it will make the audience uncomfortable. Most characters don’t realize they are in a play, and breaking the 4th wall is like saying to the audience, “I see you there. I know that I do not actually exist, but am simply a fictional character on a stage.” which would ruin the effect of the show, but in many shows the characters speaks directly to the audience, and even admit seeing them there. This often happens during monologues, which is why when you are doing a monologue in an audition, it is ok to look at the director while speaking. If your monologue is supposed to be to another character, imagine that the director is the other character. Do not make too much eye contact with the director in an audition because it might intimidate him or her.
- Feel free to cut any parts of the monologue that make it too long or you just don’t like, or to change small words to things that might be more comfortable to you. Do NOT do this with Shakespearian monologues. And be very careful that you don’t cut/ change too much.
Monologues Appropriate for Ages 10+ (Elementary/ Middle School)
Most of these monologues do not come from a full show. They are like long jokes with a punch line at the end. This style often works best for this age group because they do not require any background information to understand. If you are looking for a classical monologue for this age group, I would suggest pulling one from a show like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Snow White, or other fairytale-type shows. If you would like a more serious monologue, try looking in the 14+ section.
Gender Neutral Monologues
“Disney Danger” – Comedic Monologue
Hello… I would like to take a moment to talk to all of you about the dangers of taking your parents to Disneyland. First off, we are all here with a big group, and who wants to be discovered by a classmate when your mom is wearing Mickey Ears, and asking your little brother how to write a text message… then of course, there is your dad’s fascination with roller coasters. This could go one of 2 ways, either really fun if he likes all the same rides you do… or if your dad is like mine, then you should avoid them altogether. My dad made me wait in line for the highest… the fastest, and most exciting ride at Disney… Space Mountain… the line was forever, then we climb into a car that zips off… I started to question my dad about the 4 corndogs he had wolfed down while waiting in line… then it happened… As soon as we hit the first dip in the track …(WWWWaaaaarrrffff!!!! ) my dad HURLS!!! I think it must have hit some people in the cars behind us, because for being at Disney…. I sure heard a lot of BAD language… thank god Space Mountain is in the dark so no one knew who did it. If you go… I suggest sitting in the front!
“Great Uncle Al” – Comedic Monologue
Let’s see that’s a good question. If I could have dinner with one person from history…it would be my great uncle….Al. He was crazy smart, and VERY famous. Like “Kardashian” famous only…. a LOT less scandalous. It’s true, he was. He was made famous by these holes made by worms from outer space. In fact he inspired characters in 3 of my favorite movies. They used his eyes for the alien in E.T., and then of course there is Yoda from Star Wars, who they used my great uncle’s forehead and then of course they used his hair for the character of Emmett Brown in Back To The Future. Who’s my great uncle… you mean you can’t tell from all those clues!? He is none other than… Albert Einstein.. of course.
“Valentine’s Day Rules” – Comedic Monologue
Well it’s almost that time of year again. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and my teacher is going to once again FORCE me to write a Valentine’s Day card to everyone in my class. I understand that they don’t want anyone to get their feelings hurt, but why do I have to write a Valentine’s day card to the kid who pushed me down at recess, and made fun of me? And am I supposed to really believe that when they give me a card that they REALLLY want to be my Valentine? …. My older sister thinks that this is where kids first learn to lie about their feelings in a relationship. She said it helps us prepare for marriage…. (shrugs shoulders) whatever THAT means!
S-M-I-L-E – Comedic Monologue
- Good evening, Mrs. Audience,
- And Mr. Audience, too;
- I hope you’re glad to see me,
- And will like me ‘fore I’m through.
- I’m here to bid you welcome,
- I’m sure I like your style;
- We’ll soon become right friendly
- If you will only smile.
- I’ll try to entertain you
- With monologue and rhyme–
- But if you won’t assist me
- We’ll have a dreadful time.
- The world is full of worry,
- Let’s forget it for a while,
- And take a trip to Funland–
- So stretch your mouth and smile.
- Some speakers talk of trouble,
- Of pessimistic creeds,
- But just an S-M-I-L-E [spell]
- Is all the old world needs.
- Be gay, enthusiastic,
- And cheerful all the while,
- Forget your gloom and worries,
- And smile, smile, smile!
- And now the ice is broken,
- We’re friends, that’s how it stands,
- And if you feel as I do,
- You’ll tell me with your hands, [Pantomimes applause]
- With song and jest and story,
- I shall an hour beguile;
- I’ll do my best to please you,
- If you’ll smile, smile, smile!
“I AM Snow White?” – Comedic Monologue
“Tooth Fairy Sanitizer” – Comedic Monologue
I lost a tooth the other day, and my mom told me to put it under my pillow and that in the middle of the night the Tooth Fairy would come in and take my tooth and replace it with some cash. OK… so I have some questions and concerns here. Number one: What does this little tooth freak do with all of these teeth? By my calculations, somewhere in the world a child loses a tooth every .08 seconds… BUT they are not all in the same part of the world… which brings me to … Number two: How does this little tooth-collecting creep get from place to place? I mean I get how Santa gets around, but at least he has a route… Number three: If this Fairy is touching other peoples teeth each night… what about the germs? I mean obviously some of these kids are losing their teeth because they don’t take care of them… so …ewwwwww… gross…. This fairy is touching a bunch of nasty teeth and then touching my pillow?? From now on when I lose a tooth…I am leaving some anti-bacterial hand sanitizer under my pillow!
All right, you witches. We’ve got ourselves a PR problem here. Witches have got a seriously bad reputation here in Fairy Tale Land and it’s only getting worse since the Hansel and Gretel incident. I mean, come on people. Eating children. That’s just low. The fairies are thinking of getting rid of all magic. They can and they will unless we turn things around and prove we can handle having it. They gave it to Fairy Tale Land in the first place. And now they want it all back because they think we can’t handle it. We have a crisis here. I mean, what’s a witch without her magic? We’re nothing, I tell you. Nothing! We’ll be just a bunch of creepy old hags with bad hair and skin. We have to do a major PR thing. Good deeds and stuff. No? Then say “poof” to your magic and learn to use chopsticks because that’s all our wands will be good for. We need to do a good deed. Not just any good deed, but a whopper of a good one. We’re going to save the Prince… Aka Sleeping Handsome. But think of the PR. Witches saving the Prince who has been put under a sleeping spell. And we must do it before some bubble headed princess manages to beat us to it.
From: Alice in Wonderland – ALICE – Classical Monologue
[Angrily] Why, how impolite of him. I asked him a civil question, and he pretended not to hear me. That’s not at all nice. [Calling after him] I say, Mr. White Rabbit, where are you going? Hmmm. He won’t answer me. And I do so want to know what he is late for. I wonder if I might follow him. Why not? There’s no rule that I mayn’t go where I please. I–I will follow him. Wait for me, Mr. White Rabbit. I’m coming, too! [Falling] How curious. I never realized that rabbit holes were so dark . . . and so long . . . and so empty. I believe I have been falling for five minutes, and I still can’t see the bottom! Hmph! After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling downstairs. How brave they’ll all think me at home. Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it even if I fell off the top of the house! I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time. I must be getting somewhere near the center of the earth. I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny that would be. Oh, I think I see the bottom. Yes, I’m sure I see the bottom. I shall hit the bottom, hit it very hard, and oh, how it will hurt!
“TTYL” – Comedic Monologue
So last night.. O…M…G…. I was watching TMZ with my BFF…FYI her name is J.C…to get the 411 on my latest peeps, aight.. When I see it’s official… all experts have agreed that Justin Bieber is out and Simon Curtis is in!!!! Holy Jonas Brothers!! JC and I immediately take out our Bold BB’s and start to BBM with all our worthy peeps. We had to save the popular kids in school from making a “my bad” the next morning at school. I mean one slip up like this could cost you your entire social career in middle School. This one girl T.J. she didn’t get her BBM cause her mom grounded her for not doing her HW, whatever LOL… she showed up with a Justin Bieber T-shirt on at school the next day… let’s just say she’s now the girl that check’s out AV equipment in the library. TTYL…..
Barbie Monologue – Comedic Monologue
Sure, I’m beautiful. I have perfect eyelashes; I am an inspiration to like millions of little girls. I happen to be a teenage fashion model, Ballerina, nurse, flight attendant, tennis pro, ice skater, astronaut, teacher, singer, actress, dress designer, TV news reporter, veterinarian, teacher, astronaut rock star, scuba diver, artist, teacher, lifeguard, firefighter, dentist and a teacher. My life isn’t as good as everyone thinks it is. Wanna know one reason? Your arms. They don’t bend. Have you ever tried putting on a shirt when your arms can’t bend? Even little things like calling ken are nearly impossible. (Pull out phone and talk to ken) Hello? Ken? Hey…It’s me Barbie. I miss you so much. *PAUSE* nope, I’m just chilling here in the Barbie house.*PAUSE* what? Yes, I love you too. *PAUSE*no I love you more*PAUSE* I love you the mostest*PAUSE* well I have to go now. *pause* no you hang up first. *PAUSE* ken. Just hang up…oh hes gone… (Look up like you suddenly realize that there is an audience). Well, I suppose being in a box can be fun. Like when all the little girls beg and beg to get you. I don’t blame them. If I saw a doll with hair as (flip and play with your hair) beautiful, shiny, soft and silky and totally unattainable as mine, I would want me too. OH, but like here is one thing that is completely horrible. Dress-up? Weddings? Tea parties? I can handle that. What I can’t handle? Little brothers and their smelly dogs. (Nod head sadly) Have you ever been in the mouth of a hot sweaty pit bull? I don’t think so. Try getting out of that without bending your arms. Omg. And like brother they think it’s like so funny to rip of your head and glue you to the body of a dinosaur? Does this look like the type of face that belongs on a dinosaur? No. Curves are one thing but that is totally different. Well, I like need to go call ken. Bye.
Monologues for Ages 14+ (High School)
These monologues tend to be more dramatic, though there are comedic options. Many monologues that are good for this age group come from classic plays that are typically read and performed in high schools, like Anne Frank, A Christmas Carol, and The Great Gatsby. High school aged students may also look at the suggestions in the 18+ section for more intense, professional monologues. Just be aware that those monologues may contain adult language and content and are often much more serious. If you are looking for a more light-hearted monologue, try looking in the 10+ section.
Pink Honor – Comedic Monologue
What? You’ve got to be kidding me, right? Ella…you’re joking I hope. If not, oh if not, let me tell you what. I cannot believe this. How did this happen? Why did it have to happen to me – the wonderful and marvelous me? Why would you let this go unnoticed, Erica? I can’t believe my best friend would let me go out like this… Why didn’t you tell me? I would have been thankful, not mad. Why didn’t you just tell me, Emma? You really could have. How dare you not tell me, Eliza…(pause) tell me that I wasn’t matching. The blouse I’m wearing is a pale pink and my skirt is a dark pink, I just wasn’t thinking this morning, Eve, because you remember, right? If not I’ll tell you about it again. My dog Chanel has to get snipped because he impregnated that hideous mutt, and I can only hope he is okay so that’s why I couldn’t concentrate, what was I talking about? Oh yes. This is unbelievable, Emilia. They should have a store in my honor of course, so things like this don’t go unnoticed like they did for (pause) me. The store would have different sections for the different shades of pink – the lightest pink almost white, the pale pinks, the bright pinks, the hot pinks , the deep pinks, and the basic pink. So that of course my pink clothes could always and most definitely match. That’s actually a really good idea! I’m going to sell that idea. Anyways why didn’t you tell me? We are best friends, Elena! Please say something! I’m not mad anymore. You may speak. (shocked) Wait, you’re telling me that my clothes DO match, and that I’ve been ranting on and on about this, when you were just trying to compliment my color contrast. Oops, sorry. Well, that sounds like a personal problem, Emily. See you tomorrow. Try to match tomorrow and don’t scare me like that! And finish your sentences from now on. Okay, bye… (pause) It’s Edgar, right?
ANNE FRANK – Dramatic Monologue
Look, Peter, the sky. (she looks up through the skylight) What a lovely, lovely day! Aren’t the clouds beautiful? You know what I do when it seems as if I couldn’t stand being cooped up for one more minute? I think myself out. I think myself on a walk in the park where I used to go with Pim. Where the jonquils and the crocus and the violets grow down the slopes. You know the most wonderful part about thinking yourself out? You can have it any way you like. You can have roses and violets and chrysanthemums all blooming at the same time! It’s funny. I used to take it all for granted. And now I’ve gone crazy about everything to do with nature. Haven’t you? (softly) I wish you had a religion, Peter. Oh, I don’t mean you have to be Orthodox, or believe in heaven and hell and purgatory and things. I just mean some religion. It doesn’t matter what. Just to believe in something! When I think of all that’s out there. The trees. And flowers. And seagulls. When I think of the dearness of you, Peter. And the goodness of people we know, all risking their lives for us every day. When I think of these good things, I’m not afraid any more. I find myself, and God, and I… We’re not the only people that have had to suffer. There’ve always been people that’ve had to. Sometimes one race, sometimes another, and yet…I know it’s terrible, trying to have any faith when people are doing such horrible things, but you know what I sometimes think? I think the world may be going through a phase, the way I was with Mother. It’ll pass, maybe not for hundreds of years, but someday I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are really good at heart. Peter, if you’d only look at it as part of a great pattern.
The Magician – Comedic Monologue
It was Saturday night and my girlfriend and I decided to go to see a well known magician performing at our local theater. The place was packed and the show was great!
Towards the end of the show the magician asked an audience member to come up on stage and hit him in the head with a sledgehammer. The audience member said, “I’m not going to do that.” The magician told him as he was leaning down waiting to get hit, “Look I am the magician and know what I am doing. So hit me with the hammer!” At that point the audience member swung the sledgehammer hitting him in the head and the magician fell to the ground unconscious.
After being hit the paramedics rushed to the magician and revived him but he was still unconscious and now in a coma. They cleared the theater out and arrested the man that hit him but he was soon released.
No one ever knew what happened to the magician after the show. Then six months later we were watching the news and here they were talking about the magician who had been in a coma for six months.
On the news broadcast they stated that when the magician came out of his coma he jumped out of bed, put his arms to his side, like a real showman, and with excitement, yelled out to the hospital staff, “TADA!!!”
Monologues for Ages 18+ (College/ Young Adult)
WARNING: Some of these monologues may contain adult language or content!!!
These monologues are pulled from serious dramas, often with small casts and very little set. These monologues may be hard to understand without context. Feel free to look up a synopsis of the show to help you. Monologues for this age group range from classical plays like Sophocles’ Oedipus to modern dramas like Doubt or Angels in America. Most of these are extremely serious, dramatic monologues. There are comedic monologues for this age group, but it is usually a more sophisticated kind of comedy like satire. For an audition for a Shakespeare production, please choose a Shakespearian monologue.
From: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Martha
You’re all flops. I am the Earth Mother, and you are all flops. (To herself) I disgust me. You know, there’s only been one man in my whole life who’s ever made me happy. Do you know that?…George, my husband…George, who is out somewhere there in the dark, who is good to me – whom I revile, who can keep learning the games we play as quickly as I can change them. Who can make me happy and I do not wish to be happy. Yes, I do wish to be happy. George and Martha. Sad, sad, sad…Whom I will not forgive for having come to rest; for having seen me and having said, ‘yes, this will do’… who has made the hideous, the hurting, the insulting mistake of loving me and must be punished for it. George and Martha. Sad, sad, sad…Some day, hah! Some night, some stupid, liquor-ridden night, I will go too far and I’ll either break the man’s back or I’ll push him off for good which is what I deserve.
From: Doubt – Mrs. Miller
You accept what you got to accept and you work with it. … Well he’s got to be somewhere, maybe he’s doin’ some good too … Well maybe some of them boys want to get caught. … That’s why his father beat him. Not the wine. … I’m talkin’ about the boy’s nature, nun. Not anything he’s done. You can’t hold a child responsible for what God gave him to be. … But then there’s the boy’s nature … Forget it then. Forcing people to say things. My boy came to your school ‘cause they were gonna kill him in the public schools. His father don’t like him. He come to your school, kids don’t like him. One man is good to him, this priest. And does a man have his reasons? Yes. Everybody does. You have your reasons but, do I ask the man why he’s good to my son? No. I don’t care why. My son needs some man to care about him. And to see him through the way he wants to go. And thank God this educated man, with some kindness in him, wants to do just that.
From: Angels in America – Harper Pitt
Night flight to San Francisco. Chase the moon across America. God! It’s been years since I was on a plane. When we hit 35,000 feet we’ll have reached the tropopause, the great belt of calm air. As close as I’ll ever get to the ozone. I dreamed we were there. The plane leapt the tropopause, the safe air and attained the outer rim, the ozone which was ragged and torn, patches of it threadbare as old cheesecloth and that was frightening. But I saw something only I could see because of my astonishing ability to see such things. Souls were rising, from the earth far below, souls of the dead of people who’d perished from famine, from war, from the plague and they floated up like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles and formed a web, a great net of souls. And the souls were three atom oxygen molecules of the stuff of ozone and the outer rim absorbed them and was repaired. Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so.
From: Sophocles’ Antigone – CREON
Sirs, the vessel of our state, after being tossed on wild waves, hath once more been safely steadied by the gods: and ye, out of all the folk, have been called apart by my summons, because I knew, first of all, how true and constant was your reverence for the royal power of Laius; how, again, when Oedipus was ruler of our land, and when he had perished, your steadfast loyalty still upheld their children. Since, then, his sons have fallen in one day by a twofold doom–each smitten by the other, each stained with a brother’s blood–I now possess the throne and all its powers, by nearness of kinship to the dead. No man can be fully known, in soul and spirit and mind, until he hath been seen versed in rule and law-giving. For if any, being supreme guide of the state, cleaves not to the best counsels, but, through some fear, keeps his lips locked, I hold, and have ever held, him most base; and if any makes a friend of more account than his fatherland, that man hath no place in my regard. For I–be Zeus my witness, who sees all things always–would not be silent if I saw ruin, instead of safety, coming to the citizens; nor would I ever deem the country’s foe a friend to myself; remembering this, that our country is the ship that bears us safe, and that only while she prospers in our voyage can we make true friends. Such are the rules by which I guard this city’s greatness. And in accord with them is the edict which I have now published to the folk touching the sons of Oedipus; that Eteocles, who hath fallen fighting for our city, in all renown of arms, shall be entombed, and crowned with every rite that follows the noblest dead to their rest. But for his brother, Polyneices–who came back from exile, and sought to consume utterly with fire the city of his fathers and the shrines of his fathers’ gods–sought to taste of kindred blood, and to lead the remnant into slavery–touching this man, it hath been proclaimed to our people that none shall grace him with sepulture or lament, but leave him unburied, a corpse for birds and dogs to eat, a ghastly sight of shame.
From: The Death of a Salesman – Willy
Business is definitely business, but just listen for a minute. You don’t understand this. When I was a boy-eighteen, nineteen—I was already on the road. And there was a question in my mind as to whether selling had a future for me. Because in those days I had a yearning to go to Alaska. See, there were three gold strikes in one month in Alaska, and I felt like going out. Just for the ride, you might say. Oh, yeah, my father lived many years in Alaska. He was an adventurous man. We’ve got quite a little streak of self-reliance in our family. I thought I’d go out with my older bother and try to locate him, and maybe settle in the North with the old man. And I was almost decided to go, when I met a salesman in the Parker House. His name was Dave Singleman. And he was eighty-four years old, and he’d drummed merchandise in thirty-one states. And old Dave, he’d go up to his room, y’understand, put on his green velvet slippers—I’ll never forget—and pick up his phone and call the buyers, and without ever leaving his room, at the age of eighty-four, he made his living. And when I say that, I realized that selling was the greatest career a man could want. ‘Cause what could be more satisfying than to be able to go, at the age of eight-four, into twenty of thirty different cities, and pick up a phone, and be remembered and loved and helped by so may different people? Do you know? When he died— and by the way he died the death of a salesman, in his green velvet slippers in the smoker of the New York, New Haven and Hartford, going into Boston—when he died, Hundreds of salesman and buyers were at his funeral. Things were sad on a lotta trains for months after that. See In those days there was personality in it, Howard. There was respect, and comradeship, and gratitude in it. Today, it’s all cut and dried and there’s no chance for bringing friendship to bear—or personality. You see what I mean? They don’t know me any more!
From: Tale of Two Cities – MANETTE
My child, all that matters is that you did see him – you saw Charles. Tomorrow you’ll marry him. Had it not been Charles it would have been another. If there had been no other I might have felt myself the cause – and the… dark part of my life would have cast its shadow beyond myself… and fallen upon you.
Look at the moon! When I looked upon her from the window of my prison I could not bear her light. It was the worst of tortures to me that she shone so brightly on all that had been taken from me. I looked at the moon and wondered upon the wife and the unborn child from whom I had been torn. Was my child alive – looking up at the moon, or had the shock of its birth killed the mother? Was that child a son who would some day avenge me? Or a son who would never learn of my existence? Or was it a daughter who would grow into a woman knowing nothing of my fate. Year after year I imagined myself wiped from the remembrance of everything I had loved – of everyone who had loved me.
There were other moonlit nights when in my sadness the darkness – silence touched me in a different way. I imagined a daughter – like a vision of the of the wife I had lost – coming to lead me out of my cell – to take me to the home she had made – to a loving husband – beautiful children about her feet –
I’ll not have life long enough to thank God sufficiently for the happiness you brought me. You have brought me out of the darkness.
From: The Glass Menagerie – TOM
I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoebox. I left Saint Louis. I descended the step of this fire‐ escape for a last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space – I travelled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly coloured but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass. Perhaps I am walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found companions. I pass the lighted window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of coloured glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colours, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder. I turn around and look into her eyes … Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger – anything that can blow your candles out!
Shakespeare is always difficult. Don’t be afraid of the language and just take it step by step. It’s a good idea to at least read a brief synopsis of the show that your monologue is from before you audition. Try not to read in rhythm. Many of these monologues are like poetry, so it is a natural habit for actors to pause at the end of the line (I re-formatted some of them to help you avoid this issue), but only take a breath where there is a comma or period.
Below is a list of all of Shakespeare’s plays. Underneath some of them are one or more monologues from that play. Fortunately, all of Shakespeare’s work is completely available for free online, so if you want to find monologues that are not shown below, feel free to search the web.
All’s Well That Ends Well
As You Like It
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Comedy of Errors
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Measure for Measure
Merchant of Venice
Merry Wives of Windsor
Midsummer Night’s Dream
How happy some o’er other some can be! Through Athens I am thought as fair as she. But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so; He will not know what all but he do know: And as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes, So I, admiring of his qualities: Things base and vile, folding no quantity, Love can transpose to form and dignity: Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind: Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgement taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste: And therefore is Love said to be a child, Because in choice he is so oft beguiled. As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, So the boy Love is perjured every where: For ere Demetrius look’d on Hermia’s eyne, He hail’d down oaths that he was only mine; And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt, So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt. I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight: Then to the wood will he to-morrow night Pursue her; and for this intelligence If I have thanks, it is a dear expense: But herein mean I to enrich my pain, To have his sight thither and back again.
Much Ado about Nothing
Taming of the Shrew
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Antony and Cleopatra
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffl’d off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there’s the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover’d country from whose bourn No traveler returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.–Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember’d.
Porter (Comedic Relief)
Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key. Knocking within. Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer, that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty: come in time; have napkins enough about you; here you’ll sweat for’t. Knocking within. Knock, knock! Who’s there, in the other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come in, equivocator. Knocking within. Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. Knocking within. Knock, knock; never at quiet! What are you? But this place is too cold for hell. I’ll devil-porter it no further: I had thought to have let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. Knocking within. Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.
Romeo and Juliet (This year’s Summer Shakespeare!)
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather’d raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? O that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!
‘Tis torture, and not mercy: heaven is here,
Where Juliet lives; and every cat and dog
And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
Live here in heaven and may look on her;
But Romeo may not: more validity,
More honourable state, more courtship lives
In carrion-flies than Romeo: they my seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet’s hand
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who even in pure and vestal modesty,
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;
But Romeo may not; he is banished:
Flies may do this, but I from this must fly:
They are free men, but I am banished.
And say’st thou yet that exile is not death?
Hadst thou no poison mix’d, no sharp-ground knife,
No sudden mean of death, though ne’er so mean,
But ‘banished’ to kill me?.’banished’?
O friar, the damned use that word in hell;
Howlings attend it: how hast thou the heart,
Being a divine, a ghostly confessor,
A sin-absolver, and my friend profess’d,
To mangle me with that word ‘banished’?
Tybalt, here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay;
Romeo that spoke him fair, bade him bethink
How nice the quarrel was, and urged withal
Your high displeasure: all this uttered
With gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bow’d,
Could not take truce with the unruly spleen
Of Tybalt deaf to peace, but that he tilts
With piercing steel at bold Mercutio’s breast,
Who all as hot, turns deadly point to point,
And, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats
Cold death aside, and with the other sends
It back to Tybalt, whose dexterity,
Retorts it: Romeo he cries aloud,
‘Hold, friends! friends, part!’ and, swifter than his tongue,
His agile arm beats down their fatal points,
And ‘twixt them rushes; underneath whose arm
An envious thrust from Tybalt hit the life
Of stout Mercutio, and then Tybalt fled;
But by and by comes back to Romeo,
Who had but newly entertain’d revenge,
And to ‘t they go like lightning, for, ere I
Could draw to part them, was stout Tybalt slain.
And, as he fell, did Romeo turn and fly.
This is the truth, or let Benvolio die.
More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he is
the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as
you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and
proportion; rests me his minim rest, one, two, and
the third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silk
button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the
very first house, of the first and second cause:
ah, the immortal passado! the punto reverso! the hai!
The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting
fantasticoes; these new tuners of accents! ‘By Jesu,
a very good blade! a very tall man! a very good
whore!’ Why, is not this a lamentable thing,
grandsire, that we should be thus afflicted with
these strange flies, these fashion-mongers, these
perdona-mi’s, who stand so much on the new form,
that they cannot at ease on the old bench? O, their
bones, their bones!
Romeo is banish’d; and all the world to nothing,
That he dares ne’er come back to challenge you;
Or, if he do, it needs must be by stealth.
Then, since the case so stands as now it doth,
I think it best you married with the county.
O, he’s a lovely gentleman!
Romeo’s a dishclout to him: an eagle, madam,
Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye
As Paris hath. Beshrew my very heart,
I think you are happy in this second match,
For it excels your first: or if it did not,
Your first is dead; or ’twere as good he were,
As living here and you no use of him.
Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? young men’s love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
Jesu Maria, what a deal of brine
Hath wash’d thy sallow cheeks for Rosaline!
How much salt water thrown away in waste,
To season love, that of it doth not taste!
The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears,
Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears;
Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit
Of an old tear that is not wash’d off yet:
If e’er thou wast thyself and these woes thine,
Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline:
And art thou changed? pronounce this sentence then,
Women may fall, when there’s no strength in men.
What say you? can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast;
Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face,
And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen;
Examine every married lineament,
And see how one another lends content
And what obscured in this fair volume lies
Find written in the margent of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover:
The fish lives in the sea, and ’tis much pride
For fair without the fair within to hide:
That book in many’s eyes doth share the glory,
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
So shall you share all that he doth possess,
By having him, making yourself no less.
God’s bread! it makes me mad:
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her match’d: and having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train’d,
Stuff’d, as they say, with honourable parts,
Proportion’d as one’s thought would wish a man;
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune’s tender,
To answer ‘I’ll not wed; I cannot love,
I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.’
But, as you will not wed, I’ll pardon you:
Graze where you will you shall not house with me:
Look to’t, think on’t, I do not use to jest.
Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
For, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to’t, bethink you; I’ll not be forsworn.
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel,–
Will they not hear? What, ho! you men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins,
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets,
And made Verona’s ancient citizens
Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments,
To wield old partisans, in hands as old,
Canker’d with peace, to part your canker’d hate:
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time, all the rest depart away:
You Capulet; shall go along with me:
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our further pleasure in this case,
To old Free-town, our common judgment-place.
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Timon of Athens
Troilus and Cressida
NOTE: I would not suggest choosing a monologue from one of Shakespeare’s histories unless you are auditioning for one of these plays or you already know the monologue very well and you know you will do well with it.
Henry IV, Part I
Henry IV, Part II
Henry VI, Part I
Henry VI, Part II
Henry VI, Part III
These are just some suggestions. The internet is full of tons of material for all ages that can be downloaded and printed for free! Just remember to choose a monologue that suits your acting style. Be aware that every show named on this page has a range of monologues, and many are available online. So, if you want to do a different monologue from Alice in Wonderland or The Death of a Salesman or Romeo and Juliet, just look online! Good luck!