Help me find a monologue


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Silver Crusade

I'm hoping the literati/theater buffs of the OTD boards can help me with this one. I am co-producing a Shakespearean-themed revue, and I need to choose a Shakespeare monologue.

Criteria:

It needs to be short, preferably under 2 minutes. (No "Friends, Romans, Countrymen...")

I'm 28. So no Lear/Prospero/etc.

Nothing so heavy and/or iconic that people are going to have expectations I couldn't possibly meet. (No "To be or not to be" or "Is this a dagger I see before me?")

No Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, or A Midsummer Night's Dream because those are already being featured in the revue.

Possibilities: I am considering Shylock's "revenge" speech from A Merchant of Venice or the opening of Richard III, but I'd like more options to consider.


Sounds like fun CH! Let us know how it turned out!

Hm, it's been so long since I've read them all, and you named all the ones that (everyone) is most familiar with,... ;P

I seem to recall a few good moments in Tempest, I've always liked that one. (Maybe because it stars a wizard?) ;P I do recall that Caliban's speech is good, but it's dramatic, not comedy.

Heck, if your looking for an entertaining monologue, just start with any (not mentioned above) of the comedies! They ALL have at least one or two good speeches in them!

I'll try and jog my brain for something more specific, break a leg! :)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Celestial Healer wrote:

I'm hoping the literati/theater buffs of the OTD boards can help me with this one. I am co-producing a Shakespearean-themed revue, and I need to choose a Shakespeare monologue.

Criteria:

It needs to be short, preferably under 2 minutes. (No "Friends, Romans, Countrymen...")

I'm 28. So no Lear/Prospero/etc.

Nothing so heavy and/or iconic that people are going to have expectations I couldn't possibly meet. (No "To be or not to be" or "Is this a dagger I see before me?")

No Romeo and Juliet, Henry V Part 1, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, or A Midsummer Night's Dream because those are already being featured in the revue.

Possibilities: I am considering Shylock's "revenge" speech from A Merchant of Venice or the opening of Richard III, but I'd like more options to consider.

How about any of the six soliloquies for "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark"?


I'm partial to the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V. If memory serves, the opening monologue ("Oh for a muse of Fire!) is also from Henry V.


Okay, this is my 2nd post of the day to go AWOL. Did you mean no Henry V, or no Henry VI? (Henry V is a single play.)

Silver Crusade

Sublimity wrote:

I'm partial to the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V. If memory serves, the opening monologue ("Oh for a muse of Fire!) is also from Henry V.

They are, indeed, and sadly they are all being done by other people in this show.

Lord Fyre wrote:
How about any of the six soliloquies for "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark"?

I'm putting Hamlet and Macbeth on the list of "unless I know I can give the most awesome performance people have ever seen, the audience will be disgusted that I had the audacity to attempt it".

Silver Crusade

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Okay, this is my 2nd post of the day to go AWOL. Did you mean no Henry V, or no Henry VI? (Henry V is a single play.)

Henry V. My bad, I had a brain cramp and mistook it for the one that is in parts. We already have people doing 3 different monologues from that play (prologue, "St. Crispin's", and the "peace" speech).

Dark Archive

One of my favorites is the final monologue of "Angels In America" By Tony Kushner.
(scene in front of the Angel of Bethesda Fountain in New Yorks Central Park)
Piror: I'm almost done.
The fountains not flowing now, they turn it off in the winter, ice in the pipes. But in the summer it's a sight to see. I want to be around to see it. I plan to be. I hope to be.
This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.
Bye now.
You are fabulous creatures, each and every one.
And I bless you: More Life
The great work begins

End of Play

Too bad it isn't shakespeare but this play always kills


I'm sorry, I didn't see the footnote about Henry V. . .

Can you pull a fast one and perform, as they would have in his day, a woman's speech?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Alright then, how about

Othello's soliloquy where he wavers between believing Iago and trusting his wife. I believe that is Act II, Scene 3

Silver Crusade

Sublimity wrote:

I'm sorry, I didn't see the footnote about Henry V. . .

Can you pull a fast one and perform, as they would have in his day, a woman's speech?

Heh. No one would tell me that I can't, but people might wonder why I would do so given that we have actual women for those parts. We do have a girl doing one of Puck's monologues, so I guess it would only be fair :)

Lord Fyre wrote:

Alright then, how about

Othello's soliloquy where he wavers between believing Iago and trusting his wife. I believe that is Act II, Scene 3

I'll check it out.


There's a particularly bawdy (though smallish) monologue in Twelfth Night where the character discusses a woman's writing style and alludes to a woman's naughty bits. . .Can't think of the character off the top of my head.

Probably too old for you, but Richard III has some nice parts in it.

Also, (again, too old) but Henry II... "let us sit on the ground and speak of cabbages and kings"

Dark Archive

What about this from Comedy of Errors? It is Antipholus of Syracuss.

Spoiler:
Sweet mistress,'what your name is else, I know not,
Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine,'
Less in your knowledge and your grace you show not
Than our earth's wonder; more than earth divine.
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak:
Lay open to my earthy-gross conceit,
Smother'd in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
The folded meaning of your words' deceit.
Against my soul's pure truth why labour you
To make it wander in an unknown field?
Are you a god? would you create me new?
Transform me then, and to your power I'll yield.
But if that I am I, then well I know
Your weeping sister is no wife of mine,
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe:
Far more, far more, to you do I decline.
O! train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note,
To drown me in thy sister flood of tears:
Sing, siren, for thyself, and I will dote:
Spread o'er the silver waves thy golden hairs,
And as a bed I'll take them and there lie;
And, in that glorious supposition think
He gains by death that hath such means to die:
Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink!

The Exchange

It has been so long since I have dared touch the Bard that though I would give suggestions I think others offer better advice for this then I.

Silver Crusade

David Fryer wrote:

What about this from Comedy of Errors? It is Antipholus of Syracuss.

** spoiler omitted **

See? This is why I turn to Paizo. I hadn't even thought to look at that play because I'm not terribly familiar with it, but that one definitely seems like a possibility.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Then there is the "And I Will Be Revenged on Them All" (Act V, Scene 2) soliloquy from my favorite Cooking Show!

Silver Crusade

Lord Fyre wrote:
Then there is the "And I Will Be Revenged on Them All" (Act V, Scene 2) soliloquy from my favorite Cooking Show!

Haha. I'd like to see Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray top that some day.

I'll look at that one too.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Celestial Healer wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Then there is the "And I Will Be Revenged on Them All" (Act V, Scene 2) soliloquy from my favorite Cooking Show!

Haha. I'd like to see Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray top that some day.

I'll look at that one too.

It has a real meaty plot and flows really quickly. I find watching an especially cutting edge performance really draining.


If I had more time, I'd dig up some monologues, but one play that is vastly underrated is Titus Andronicus. Here's a couple of quote references. You can probably use the site to expand on what you're trying to accomplish.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I haven't timed it, but I did the Three Witches scene [Double double, toil and trouble] from Macbeth as a monologue for extra credit in English Lit and Theatre, and it's a blast to do. You can have fun with posture and voice, switching between the three, or just do it as a solo.

Don't have my Shakespeare handy, but the section begins:

"Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed, thrice and once the hedgepig whined
Harpier cries 'tis time, 'tis time!"

And ends with:

Enter Macbeth

I can still quote most of it today :)

Edit: Also, if you haven't checked it out before now, find a copy of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged :)

Silver Crusade

Gamer Girrl wrote:

I haven't timed it, but I did the Three Witches scene [Double double, toil and trouble] from Macbeth as a monologue for extra credit in English Lit and Theatre, and it's a blast to do. You can have fun with posture and voice, switching between the three, or just do it as a solo.

Don't have my Shakespeare handy, but the section begins:

"Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed, thrice and once the hedgepig whined
Harpier cries 'tis time, 'tis time!"

And ends with:

Enter Macbeth

I can still quote most of it today :)

Edit: Also, if you haven't checked it out before now, find a copy of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged :)

Interesting suggestion on the monologue. *ruminates*

BTW, I love the "Abridged" versions. If we do this again next year, I think that little gem will make an appearance.

Silver Crusade

One of Sublimity's suggestions made me think to look at Twelfth Night, and now I am leaning towards Orsino's "If music be the food of love" speech. I think that might work perfectly. I'm still open to other suggestions, though. These have been awesome, and I knew I could count on this place to have good ideas.

Liberty's Edge

Thou, nature, art my goddess,
to thy law my services are bound.
Wherefore, shall I stand in the plague of custom and permit
the curiosity of nations to deprive me
for that I am some 12 or 14 moonshines lag of a brother?
Bastardy.....base?
Base,....
who in the lusty stealth of night taketh more fire and fierce composition than doth,
within a dull,
stale,
tired bed go to the creation of a whole tribe of fops got tween sleep and wake?
Well, my legitemate......
If this letter speed,
and my plan doth thrive,
then Edmund the base shall top the legitemate.
I grow.....I thrive......
Now, gods;.....STAND UP FOR BASTARDS!!!

Liberty's Edge

I'm sure i effed up somewhere; from memory; 23 years ago.

Silver Crusade

Damn good, Heathy.

Spoiler:
Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Silver Crusade

For those who want to see, the monologue I am considering.

Spoiler:
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Silver Crusade

FYI, this is a fanstastic site.

Silver Crusade

Also, this monologue is a lot less scary than the fact that I am going to be singing "Ah! lève-toi, soleil!" from Gounod's adaptation Roméo et Juliette in the same performance. (It's Shakespeare in words and song...)

Paizo Employee Sales Associate

You're looking for a Shakespearean dramatic monologue?

How about a non-Shakespearean comedic dialog?

:)

Spoiler:
Ok.. I was just looking for an excuse to post that link.

Silver Crusade

Cosmo wrote:

You're looking for a Shakespearean dramatic monologue?

How about a non-Shakespearean comedic dialog?

:)

** spoiler omitted **

Classic.


Celestial Healer wrote:
Cosmo wrote:

You're looking for a Shakespearean dramatic monologue?

How about a non-Shakespearean comedic dialog?

:)

** spoiler omitted **

Classic.

+1 !!! Good job Cosmo!


Celestial Healer wrote:

I'm hoping the literati/theater buffs of the OTD boards can help me with this one. I am co-producing a Shakespearean-themed revue, and I need to choose a Shakespeare monologue.

Criteria:

It needs to be short, preferably under 2 minutes. (No "Friends, Romans, Countrymen...")

I'm 28. So no Lear/Prospero/etc.

Nothing so heavy and/or iconic that people are going to have expectations I couldn't possibly meet. (No "To be or not to be" or "Is this a dagger I see before me?")

No Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, or A Midsummer Night's Dream because those are already being featured in the revue.

Possibilities: I am considering Shylock's "revenge" speech from A Merchant of Venice or the opening of Richard III, but I'd like more options to consider.

'Life/Death/King John' is not a very strong or popular play, but Constance has some great lines in III:iv. Should be more widely known.

No, I defy all counsel, all redress,
But that which ends all counsel, true redress,
Death, death: O, amiable lovely death!
Thou odoriferous stench! sound rottenness!
Arise forth from the couch of lasting night,
Thou hate and terror to prosperity,
And I will kiss thy detestable bones,
And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows,
And ring these fingers with thy household worms,
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust,
And be a carrion monster like thyself:
Come, grin on me; and I will think thou smil’st
And buss thee as thy wife! Misery’s love,
O! come to me.

There is more, but all of her lines would take you over the 2 minute limit. Maybe you could be a bit selective, just piece together the choicest bits.

The Exchange

I like this one myself


Celestial Healer wrote:

I'm hoping the literati/theater buffs of the OTD boards can help me with this one. I am co-producing a Shakespearean-themed revue, and I need to choose a Shakespeare monologue.

Criteria:

It needs to be short, preferably under 2 minutes. (No "Friends, Romans, Countrymen...")

I'm 28. So no Lear/Prospero/etc.

Nothing so heavy and/or iconic that people are going to have expectations I couldn't possibly meet. (No "To be or not to be" or "Is this a dagger I see before me?")

No Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, or A Midsummer Night's Dream because those are already being featured in the revue.

Possibilities: I am considering Shylock's "revenge" speech from A Merchant of Venice or the opening of Richard III, but I'd like more options to consider.

Iago's monologue in Othello regarding "O" is a good one:

That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;
That she loves him, ’tis apt, and of great credit:
The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
Is of a constant, loving, noble nature;
And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona
A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too;
Not out of absolute lust,—though peradventure
I stand accountant for as great a sin,—
But partly led to diet my revenge,
For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
Hath leap’d into my seat; the thought whereof
Doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my inwards;
And nothing can or shall content my soul
Till I am even’d with him, wife for wife;
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash
For his quick hunting, stand the putting-on,
I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip;
Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb,
For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too,
Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me
For making him egregiously an ass
And practising upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. ’Tis here, but yet confus’d:
Knavery’s plain face is never seen till us’d.

for further ideas, this site is great.

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