118 Dramatic Monologues For Men

older man with grey beard looking upwards - 118 dramatic monologues for men

118 Dramatic Monologues For Males From Published Plays, Shakespeare Plays, Movies, & TV Shows

20 Best Contemporary Dramatic Monologues For Men From Plays

1. The Pillowman

A monologue from the play by Martin McDonagh


Oh, really? Well, y’know, I’ll tell you what there is about me. There is an overwhelming, and there is an all-pervading, hatred…a hatred…of people like you.

Of people who lay even the littlest finger…on children. I wake up with it. It wakes me up. It rides on the bus with me to work. It whispers to me, ‘They will not get away with it’. I come in early.

I make sure all the bindings are clean and the electrodes are in the right order so we won’t…waste…time. I admit it, sometimes I use excessive force. And sometimes I use excessive force on an entirely innocent individual. But I’ll tell you this. 

If an entirely innocent individual leaves this room for the outside world, they’re not gonna contemplate even raising their voice to a little kid again, just in case I hear ‘em and drag ‘em in here for another load of excessive f***ing force. 

Now, is this kind of behavior in an officer of the law in some way questionable morally? Of course it f***ing is! But you know what? I don’t f***ing care!  ‘Cos when I’m an old man, you know what? 

Little kids are gonna follow me around and they’re gonna know my name and what I stood for, and they’re gonna give me some of their sweets in thanks, and I’m gonna take those sweets and thank them and tell them to get home safe, and I’m gonna be happy. 

Not because of the sweets, I don’t really like sweets…but because I’d know…I’d know in my heart, that if I hadn’t been there, not all of them would have been there. 

Because I’m a good policeman. Not necessarily good in the sense of being able to solve lots of stuff, because I’m not, but good in the sense that I stand for something. I stand for something. I stand on the right side. 

I may not always be right, but I stand on the right side. The child’s side. The opposite side to you. And so, naturally, when I hear that a child has been killed in a fashion…in a fashion such as this ‘Little Jesus’ thing…you know what?

 I would torture you to death just for writing a story like that, let alone acting it out! So, y’know what? F*** what your mum and dad did to you and your brother. F*** it.

I’d’ve tortured the f*** out of them if I had them here, just like I’m going to torture the f*** out of you now too. ‘Cos two wrongs don’t make a right. Two wrongs do not make a right.

So kneel down over here, please, so I can connect you to this battery.

Read the play here

2. Death Tax

A monologue from the play by Lucas Hnath


I think you think I’m weak. I think you’re used to the type of guys who push people around and I’m not that type of person. But I think I bore you. I think you miss the other type of guy. 

I think you don’t want to be with someone like me. I think I embarrass you. You’d rather be with someone who, I dunno, who wore leather jackets. Yeah, you know what I mean Leather jackets.

Rides a motorcycle. I have cardigans. Polo shirts. Khaki pants. The time when we went out and had dinner, and I saw you looking at the guy at the bar wearing a leather jacket, 

I saw you looking at him, and I could see you seeing in your eye that you’d rather be with him. And that was just a week before we decided to take a break. 

That was just a week before, but when I saw you seeing him, in his leather jacket, I could tell you were And I wish I were that person. I wish I were a leather jacket guy, Tina. I try.

I want to be that guy. I think that’s why I want to be with you, I think, I think, because I think that being with you would help maybe make me more the type of guy that I want to be.

But you just don’t have patience for me I guess.

Read the play here

3. Gem Of The Ocean

A monologue from the play by August Wilson


Here…here go a quarter. I’m gonna see what you do with that. These n*ggers take and throw their money away in the saloon and get mad when it’s gone. I give one fellow a quarter and he turn around and give it to the candy man. 

I say he could have did something with that quarter. It wasn’t much but it was twenty-five cents more than he had. He took and threw it away. He can’t see past his nose. He can’t see it’s all set up for him to do anything he want. 

See, he could have took and bought him a can of shoe polish and got him a rag. If he could see that far he’d look up and find twenty-five dollars in his pocket. Twenty-five dollars buys you an opportunity. 

You don’t need but five dollars to get in the crap game. That’s five opportunities he done threw away. The candy man gonna get him a bigger wagon and another five pound of sugar. 

He gonna be digging a ditch the rest of his life. I’m gonna see what you do. You turn that twenty-five cents into five dollars and you come and see me and I’ll give you a job. 


A monologue from the play by Daniel Pearle

Greg (thirties)

We had a bit of a meltdown. Last week. (Pause) Jake wanted to be Snow White for Halloween. And I had said, you know, we could talk about it. But Alex felt strongly it was a bad idea. 

She’s obviously fine with his wearing anything, you know, around the apartment but she was convinced letting him trick-or-treat like that— in the building . . . That neighbors might look at him funny. 

And she’s right that he’s observant. And sensitive. Anyway, we’d kinda been delaying the conversation and Halloween rolls around and Alex has a pirate outfit and a skeleton costume laid out for him on his bed and he asks, what about Snow White? 

And she tells him she doesn’t have a Snow White costume but she has these other costumes, and he says he doesn’t like these other costumes. And she tries to explain, you know, sometimes you can’t have exactly what you want but that’s why we have to compromise. 

And he starts throwing a tantrum. Says he doesn’t want to be a skeleton, that her ideas are lazy, “lazy ideas”—who knows where he— . . . 

Eventually she said if he wouldn’t stop behaving this way he wouldn’t be allowed to go trick-or-treating at all and that really sent him over the edge. Screaming at her. “You lied to me . . . 

You’re not my boss. Daddy said I could.” And I kept explaining I hadn’t actually said yes but at that point . . . I mean the two of them were really getting into it. She said he was being a baby, that he didn’t deserve a costume at all. 

And he said . . . you know, “You’re the worst mom in the entire world and I wish you were dead . . . ” (He half-laughs, a little embarrassed.) Alex thinks maybe we give in too much. 

He’s got all these interviews happening and they’re obviously not on his terms and she feels like we owe it to him to set clearer boundaries at home. So he can learn a little more . . . self-control

. I don’t know. I do worry that he’s a little—spoiled. I mean he’s an only child, he’s got Alex around all the time, a lotta kids don’t have that, not to mention, you know, his own playroom. 

It used to be an office—that we shared. I never understood why his toys couldn’t just live in his—Anyway, all I’m saying is he is accustomed to getting what he wants. So . . . maybe she has a point. 

5. Brooklyn Boy

A monologue from the play by Donald Margulies


My father sold shoes. In a Buster Brown store on Sheepshead Bay Road. He wasn’t a partner, he was an employee. For thirty-nine years. He gave his life to that store. 

It wasn’t even his to profit from, yet he still gave everything to that godd*mn store. I could never understand what was so attractive about that place, why he chose to spend so much of his days there and not at home. 

I remember watching him closely in the morning, trying to uncover the mystery of manhood, the rituals of work. The shpritz of Aramis, the buff of the Oxfords, the tying of the perfect Windsor knot. 

I’d watch him from my window get swallowed up in the sea of Brooklyn fathers all beginning their day.

6. Of The Fields, Lately

A monologue from the play by David French


He rushed out the door and down to the school-yard, the first game he had ever come to, and my mother put his supper in the oven, for later … I hadn’t reminded my father of the game. 

I was afraid he’d show up and embarrass me. Twelve years old and ashamed of my old man. Ashamed of his dialect, his dirty overalls, his bruised fingers with the fingernails lined with dirt, his teeth yellow as old ivory. 

Most of all, his lunch pail, that symbol of the working man. No, I wanted a doctor for a father. A lawyer. At least a fireman. Not a carpenter. That wasn’t good enough … 

And at home my mother sat down to darn his socks and watch the oven … I remember stepping up to bat. The game was tied; it was the last of the ninth, with no one on base. 

Then I saw him sitting on the bench along third base. He grinned and waved, and gestured to the man beside him. But I pretended not to see him. I turned to face the pitcher. 

And angry at myself, I swung hard on the first pitch, there was a hollow crack, and the ball shot low over the shortstop’s head for a double. Our next batter bunted and I made third. 

He was only a few feet away now, my father. But I still refused to acknowledge him. Instead, I stared hard at the catcher, pretending concentration.

And when the next pitch bounced between the catcher’s legs and into home screen, I slid home to win the game. And there he was, jumping up and down, showing his teeth, excited as hell. 

And as the crowd broke up and our team stampeded out of the school-yard, cleats clicking and scraping blue sparks on the sidewalk, I looked back once through the wire fence and saw my father still sitting on the now-empty bench, 

alone, slumped over a little, staring at the cinders between his feet, just staring… I don’t know how long he stayed there, maybe till dark, but I do know he never again came down to see me play. 

At home that night he never mentioned the game or being there. He just went to bed unusually early…


A monologue from the play by Mando Alvarado 

Joe (Late thirties)

Ah babe, I’m not doing so good. I just feel so . . . I wish I could tell you that I got the strength. But, you know I would be bullshitting. You always had a way of seeing through me. I know. 

Like that time, I came home. You put me on that stupid Weight Watcher’s Diet. Small portions, no fast food. I was still the same waist size since high school. So I came home.

You knew I had a Whataburger. But I said, “No babe, I had a salad and one of those meals, like 3 points and sh*t.” And you just looked at me. That night, I was asleep and you came in and jumped on top of me, with the receipt. 

Whataburger with double meat, double cheese, bacon, mayo, lettuce, tomato, whatasize fries, and whatasized coke. Busted. And an apple pie. So busted.

I miss you. Babe. What am I gonna do without you? How did I f*** up babe? My whole life. I tried to do right. I just don’t get it. I keep thinking I’m gonna wake up and everything’s gonna be fine.

Be like it was. Tell me to wake up. 

8. A Raisin In The Sun

A monologue from the play by Lorraine Hansberry


 (Shouting over her) I LIVE THE ANSWER! (Pause) In my village at home it is the exceptional man who can even read a newspaper … or who ever sees a book at all. 

I will go home and much of what I will have to say will seem strange to the people of my village. But I will teach and work and things will happen, slowly and swiftly. 

At times it will seem that nothing changes at all … and then again the sudden dramatic events which make history leap into the future. And then quiet again. Retrogression even. 

Guns, murder, revolution. And I even will have moments when I wonder if the quiet was not better than all that death and hatred. But I will look about my village at the illiteracy and disease and ignorance and I will not wonder long. 

And perhaps . . . perhaps I will be a great man … I mean perhaps I will hold on to the substance of truth and find my way always with the right course . . . and perhaps for it I will be butchered in my bed some night by the servants of empire . . . 

Read the play here

9. Dinner With Friends

A monologue from the play by Donald Margulies


You don’t get it: I cling to Karen; I cling to her. Imagining a life without her doesn’t excite me, it just makes me anxious. It all goes by so fast, Tom, I know. The hair goes, and the waist. 

And the stamina; the capacity for staying up late, to read or watch a movie, never mind sex. Want to hear a shocker? Karen is premenopausal. That’s right: my sweetheart, my lover, that sweet girl I lolled around with on endless Sundays, is getting hot flashes. 

It doesn’t seem possible. We spend our youth unconscious, feeling immortal, then we marry and have kids and awaken with a shock to mortality, theirs, ours, that’s all we see. 

We worry about them, their safety, our own , air bags, plane crashes, pederasts, and spend our middle years wanting back the dreamy, carefree part, the part we f***ked and pissed away; 

now we want that back, ’cause we know how fleeting it all is, now we know, and it just doesn’t seem fair that so much is gone when there’s really so little left.

So, some of us try to regain unconsciousness. Some of us blow up our homes . . . And others of us . . . take up piano; I’m taking piano.

Read the play here

10. The Crucible

A monologue from the play by Arthur Miller


I cannot blink what I saw, Abigail, for my enemies will not blink it. I saw a dress lying in the grass and I thought I saw someone naked running through the trees. I saw it! Now tell me true, Abigail. 

Now my ministry’s at stake; my ministry and perhaps your cousin’s life….Whatever abomination you have done, give me all of it now, for I dare not be taken unaware when I go before them down there. 

Abigail, I have fought here three long years to bend these stiff-necked people to me, and now, just now when there must be some good respect for me in the parish, you compromise my very character. 

I have given you a home, child, I have put clothes upon your back—now give me upright answer:— your name in the town—–it is entirely white, is it not? 

Abigail, is there any other cause than you have told me, for Goody Proctor discharging you? It has troubled me that you are now seven months out of their house, and in all this time no other family has ever called for your service. 

Read the play here

11. What Didn’t Happen

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22 Best Classical Dramatic Monologues For Men

1. Alcestis

A monologue from the play by Euripides

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Plays of Euripides in English, vol. ii. Trans. Shelley Dean Milman. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1922.


My friends, I deem the fortune of my wife
Happier than mine, though otherwise it seems;
For never more shall sorrow touch her breast,
And she with glory rests from various ills.
But I, who ought not live, my destined hour
O’erpassing, shall drag on a mournful life,
Late taught what sorrow is. How shall I bear
To enter here? To whom shall I address
My speech? Whose greeting renders my return
Delightful? Which way shall I turn? Within
In lonely sorrow shall I waste away,
As widowed of my wife I see my couch,
The seats deserted where she sat, the rooms
Wanting her elegance. Around my knees
My children hang, and weep their mother lost:
These too lament their mistress now no more.
This is the scene of misery in my house:
Abroad, the nuptials of Thessalia’s youth
And the bright circles of assembled dames
Will but augment my grief: ne’er shall I bear
To see the loved companions of my wife.
And if one hates me, he will say, “Behold
The man, who basely lives, who dared not die,
But, giving through the meanness of his soul
His wife, avoided death, yet would be deemed
A man: he hates his parents, yet himself
Had not the spirit to die.” These ill reports
Cleave to me: why then wish for longer life,
On evil tongues thus fallen, and evil days?

Read the play here

2. Edward II 

A monologue from the play by Christopher Marlowe


(Reading from a letter): ‘My father is deceas’d! Come, Gaveston,
And share the kingdom with thy dearest friend.’
Ah! Words that make me surfeit with delight!
What greater bliss can hap to Gaveston
Than live and be the favourite of a king!
Sweet prince, I come; these, these thy amorous lines
Might have enforc’d me to have swum from France,
And, like Leander, gasp’d upon the sand,
So thou would’st smile, and take me in thine arms.
The sight of London to my exil’d eyes
Is as Elysium to a new-come soul.
Not that I love the city, or the men,
But that it harbours him I hold so dear –
The king, upon whose bosom let me die
And with the world be still at enmity.
What need the Arctic people love starlight,
To whom the sun shines by both day and night?
Farewell base stooping to the lordly peers!
My knee shall bow to none but to the king.
As for the multitude, that are but sparks,
Rak’d up in the embers of their poverty;
Tanti, I’ll fawn first on the wind
That glanceth at my lips, and flieth away.

Read the play here

3. Women and Servants

A monologue from the play by Lope de Vega


Perhaps you feel, Violante, that I am too forward. Yet be patient in hating me, as I am in loving you. For although in my arrogance I swore to fall out of love, it is not as easy as falling in love.

Men fall in love so quickly, until they basically go mad, and then, bit by bit, take their distance and fall out of love again. A man might approach love with the best intentions, ready to give his all, and yet find that he walks on a path well trod, through a vale of tears.

I’ve come to ask you for another three days’ time, at least, in order to forget you. For I cannot persuade you, Violante, that I hate you from simply listening to you, when I hardly know you.

When I walk away and think I shall forget you, it turns out I am headed straight for love. I’ve looked elsewhere, and found some others who are by no means bad, but they don’t have that disdain that makes me long for you.

You must try harder to hate me, my lady; but no, for if you do, then I will love you all the more. For me to hate you, you must love me, and that you will not do. 

4. Tartuffe

A monologue from the play by Molière

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Dramatic Works of Molière, Vol. II. Ed. Charles Heron Wall. London: George Bell & Sons, 1898.


No, I am not a revered doctor, brother; no, all the knowledge of this world has not found its abode in me. I have merely the science of discerning truth from falsehood.

And as I know nothing in the world so noble and so beautiful as the holy fervour of genuine piety, so there is nothing, I think, so odious as the whitewashed outside of a specious zeal; as those downright imposters,

those bigots whose sacrilegious and deceitful grimaces impose on others with impunity, and who trifle as they like with all that mankind holds sacred; those men who, wholly given to mercenary ends, trade upon godliness,

and would purchase honour and reputation at the cost of hypocritical looks and affected groans; who, seized with strange ardour, make use of the next world to secure their fortune in this; who, with great affectation and many prayers,

daily preach solitude and retirement while they themselves live at Court; who know how to reconcile their zeal with their vices; who are passionate, revengeful, faithless, full of deceit, and who, to work the destruction of a fellow-man,

insolently cover their fierce resentment with the cause of Heaven. They are so much the more dangerous in that they, in their bitter wrath, use against us those weapons which men revere; and their anger, which everybody lauds, assassinates us with a consecrated weapon.

There are too many such mean hypocrites in the world; but from them the truly pious are easy to distinguish. Our age offers us abundant and glorious examples, my brother.

Look at Ariston, look at Périande, Oronte, Alcidamus, Polydore, and Clitandre. No one will refuse them this title. They are no pretenders to virtue. You never see in them this unbearable ostentation, and their piety is human and tractable.

They never censure the doings of others; they think there is too much pride in such censure; and leaving lofty words to others, they only reprove our actions by their own virtue.

They do not trust to the appearance of evil, and are more inclined to judge kindly of others. We find no cabals, no intrigues among them; all their anxiety is to live a holy life.

They never persecute the sinner, but they hate the sin. They do not care to display for the interest of Heaven a more ardent zeal than Heaven itself displays. These are people after my own heart; it is thus we should live; this is the pattern for us to follow.

Tartuffe is not of this stamp, I know. You speak with the best intention of his goodness, but I fear you are dazzled by false appearances.

Read the play here

5. Sejanus, His Fall

A monologue from the play by Ben Jonson

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Sejanus, His Fall (1603).


What excellent fools
Religion makes of men! Believes Terentius,
If these were dangers–as I shame to think them–
The gods could change the certain course of fate?
Or, if they could, they would now, in a moment,
For a beef’s fat, or less, be bribed t’ invert
Those long decrees? Then think the gods, like flies,
Are to be taken with the steam of flesh,
Or blood, diffused about their altars; think
Their power as cheap as I esteem it small.
Of all the throng that fill th’ Olympian hall,
And, without pity, lade poor Atlas’ back,
I know not that one deity, but Fortune,
To whom I would throw up, in begging smoke,
One grain of incense; or whose ear I’d buy
With thus much oil. Her I indeed adore;
And keep her grateful image in my house,
Sometimes belonging to a Roman king,
But now called mine, as by the better style.
To her I care not if, for satisfying
Your scrupulous fancies, I go offer. Bid
Our priest prepare us honey, milk, and poppy,
His masculine odours, and night-vestments. Say
Our rites are instant, which performed, you’ll see
How vain, and worthy laughter, your fears be.

6. Six Characters Looking For An Author

A monologue from the play by Luigi Pirandello


For the drama lies all in this—in the conscience that I have, that each one of us has. We believe this conscience to be a single thing, but it is many-sided. There is one for this person, and another for that. Diverse consciences.

So we have this illusion of being one person for all, of having a personality that is unique in all our acts. But it isn’t true. We perceive this when, tragically perhaps, in something we do, we are as it were, suspended, caught up in the air on a kind of hook.

Then we perceive that all of us was not in that act, and that it would be an atrocious injustice to judge us by that action alone, as if all our existence were summed up in that one deed. Now do you understand the perfidy of this girl?

She surprised me in a place, where she ought not to have known me, just as I could not exist for her; and she now seeks to attach to me a reality such as I could never suppose I should have to assume for her in a shameful and fleeting moment of my life.

I feel this above all else. And the drama, you will see, acquires a tremendous value from this point.

Read the play here

7. The Dream Play

A monologue from the play by August Strindberg

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Plays by August Strindberg, v. 1. Trans. Edwin Björkman. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1912.


Look at these walls. Does it not look as if the wall-paper itself had been soiled by every conceivable sin? Look at these documents into which I write tales of wrong. Look at myself — No smiling man ever comes here;

nothing is to be seen here but angry glances, snarling lips, clenched fists — And everybody pours his anger, his envy, his suspicions, upon me. Look — my hands are black, and no washing will clean them.

See how they are chapped and bleeding — I can never wear my clothes more than a few days because they smell of other people’s crimes — At times I have the place fumigated with sulphur, but it does not help.

I sleep near by, and I dream of nothing but crimes — Just now I have a murder case in court — oh, I can stand that, but do you know what is worse than anything else? — That is to separate married people!

Then it is as if something cried way down in the earth and up there in the sky — as if it cried treason against the primal force, against the source of all good, against love– And do you know, when reams of paper have been filled with mutual accusations,

and at last a sympathetic person takes one of the two apart and asks, with a pinch of the ear or a smile, the simple question: what have you really got against your husband?–or your wife?–then he, or she, stands perplexed and cannot give the cause.

Once–well, I think a lettuce salad was the principal issue; another time it was just a word–mostly it is nothing at all. But the tortures, the sufferings–these I have to bear– See how I look!

Do you think I could ever win a woman’s love with this countenance so like a criminal’s? Do you think anybody dares to be friendly with me, who has to collect all the debts, all the money obligations, of the whole city?– It is a misery to be a man!

Read the play here

8. Sardanapalus

A monologue from the play by Lord Byron


Farewell! He’s gone; and on his finger bears my signet,
Which is to him a sceptre. He is stern
As I am heedless and the slaves deserve
To feel a master. What may be the danger,
I know not: he hath found it, let him quell it.
Must I consume my life—this little life—
In guarding against all may make it less!
It is not worth so much! It were to die
Before my hour, to live in dread of death,
Tracing revolt; suspecting all about me,
Because they are near; and all who are remote,
Because they are far. But if it should be so—
If they should sweep me off from earth and empire,
Why, what is earth or empire of the earth?
I have loved, and lived, and multiplied my image;
To die is no less natural than those
Acts of this clay! ‘Tis true I have not shed
Blood as I might have done, in oceans, till
My name became the synonym of death—
A terror and a trophy. But for this
I feel no penitence; my life is love:
If I must shed blood, it shall be by force.
Till now, no drop from an Assyrian vein
Hath flow’d for me, nor hath the smallest coin
Of Nineveh’s vast treasures o’er been lavish’d
On objects which could cost her Sons a tear:
If then they hate me, ’tis because I hate not:
If they rebel, ’tis because I oppress not.
Oh, men! ye must be ruled with scythes, not sceptres,
And mow’d down like the grass, else all we reap
Is rank abundance, and a rotten harvest
Of discontents infecting the fair soil,
Making a desert of fertility.—
I’ll think no more.

9. Le Cid

A monologue from the play by Pierre Corneille 

Don Diego

O rage! O despair! O inimical old age! Have I then lived so long only for this disgrace? And have I grown grey in warlike toils, only to see in one day so many of my laurels wither?

Does my arm [i.e. my valor], which all Spain admires and looks up to [lit. with respect]—[does] my arm, which has so often saved this empire, and so often strengthened anew the throne of its king,

now [lit. then] betray my cause, and do nothing for me? O cruel remembrance of my bygone glory! O work of a lifetime [lit. so many days] effaced in a day! new dignity fatal to my happiness!

lofty precipice from which mine honor falls! must I see the count triumph over your splendor, and die without vengeance, or live in shame? Count, be now the instructor of my prince!

This high rank becomes [lit. admits] no man without honor, and thy jealous pride, by this foul [lit. remarkable] insult, in spite of the choice of the king, has contrived [lit. has known how] to render me unworthy of it.

And thou, glorious instrument of my exploits, but yet a useless ornament of an enfeebled body numbed by age [lit. all of ice], thou sword, hitherto to be feared,

and which in this insult has served me for show, and not for defence, go, abandon henceforth the most dishonored [lit. the last] of his race; pass, to avenge me, into better hands!

Read the play here

10. The Lower Depths

A monologue from the play by Maxim Gorky

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Moscow Art Theatre Series of Plays. Ed. Oliver M. Sayler. New York: Brantanos, 1922.


Some one has to be kind, girl — some one has to pity people! Christ pitied everybody — and he said to us: “Go and do likewise!” I tell you — if you pity a man when he most needs it, good comes of it.

Why — I used to be a watchman on the estate of an engineer near Tomsk — all right — the house was right in the middle of a forest — lonely place — winter came — and I remained all by myself.

Well — one night I heard a noise — thieves creeping in! I took my gun — I went out. I looked and saw two of them opening a window — and so busy that they didn’t even see me.

I yell: “Hey there — get out of here!” And they turn on me with their axes — I warn them to stand back, or I’d shoot — and as I speak, I keep on covering them with my gun, first on the one,

then the other — they go down on their knees, as if to implore me for mercy. And by that time I was furious — because of those axes, you see — and so I say to them:

“I was chasing you, you scoundrels — and you didn’t go. Now you go and break off some stout branches!” — and they did so — and I say: “Now — one of you lie down and let the other one flog him!”

So they obey me and flog each other — and then they began to implore me again. “Grandfather,” they say, “for God’s sake give us some bread! We’re hungry!”

There’s thieves for you, my dear! [Laughs.] And with an ax, too! Yes — honest peasants, both of them! And I say to them, “You should have asked for bread straight away!”

And they say: “We got tired of asking — you beg and beg — and nobody gives you a crumb — it hurts!” So they stayed with me all that winter — one of them, Stepan, would take my gun and go shooting in the forest —

and the other, Yakoff, was ill most of the time — he coughed a lot . . . and so the three of us together looked after the house . . . then spring came . . . “Good-bye, grandfather,” they said — and they went away — back home to Russia . . . escaped convicts — from a Siberian prison camp . . . honest peasants!

If I hadn’t felt sorry for them — they might have killed me — or maybe worse — and then there would have been a trial and prison and afterwards Siberia — what’s the sense of it?

Prison teaches no good — and Siberia doesn’t either — but another human being can . . . yes, a human being can teach another one kindness — very simply!

Read the play here

11. The Honest Wh*re 

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23 Dramatic Monologues For Men From Movies

1. Scent Of A Woman

A monologue from the screenplay by Bo Goldman

Slade – 1

Outta order? I’ll show you outta order! You don’t know what outta order is, Mr. Trask! I’d show you but I’m too old; I’m too tired; I’m too f***in’ blind. If I were the man I was five years ago I’d take a FLAME-THROWER to this place!

Outta order. Who the hell you think you’re talkin’ to? I’ve been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off.

But there isn’t nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit; there is no prosthetic for that. You think you’re merely sendin’ this splendid foot-soldier back home to Oregon with his tail between his legs, but I say you are executin’ his SOUL!!

And why?! Because he’s not a Baird man! Baird men, ya hurt this boy, you’re going to be Baird Bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are out there, F*** YOU, too!

Slade – 2

I’m not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words, “cradle of leadership.” Well, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here; it has fallen.

Makers of men; creators of leaders; be careful what kind of leaders you’re producin’ here. I don’t know if Charlie’s silence here today is right or wrong.

I’m not a judge or jury. But I can tell you this: he won’t sell anybody out to buy his future!! And that, my friends, is called integrity! That’s called courage! Now that’s the stuff leaders should be made of.

Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here’s Charlie.

He’s come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It’s the right path. It’s a path made of principle — that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey.

You hold this boy’s future in your hands, committee. It’s a valuable future. Believe me. Don’t destroy it! Protect it. Embrace it. It’s gonna make ya proud one day — I promise you.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

A monologue from the screenplay by Frank Darabont and Stephen King


Rehabilitated? Well, now, let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means. — I know what you think it means, sonny. To me, it’s just a made up word, a politician’s word, so that young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. 

What do you really wanna know? Am I sorry for what I did? here’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime.

I wanna talk to him. I wanna try to talk some sense to him — tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left. I gotta live with that.

Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a sh*t.

Read the play here

3. Cloud Atlas

A monologue from the screenplay by Lily Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer

Isaac Sachs

Belief, like fear or love, is a force to be understood as we understand the Theory of Relativity and Principles of Uncertainty: phenomenon that determine the course of our lives. Yesterday, my life was headed in one direction.

Today, it is headed in another. Yesterday I believed that I would never have done what I did today. 

These forces that often remake time and space, that can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born and continue after we perish. 

Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment to moment. At each point of intersection, each encounter suggests a new potential direction.

4. It’s A Wonderful Life

A monologue from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett


Just a minute – just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. Just a minute. Now, you’re right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I’ll never know. 

But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was — Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn’t that right, Uncle Billy? 

He didn’t save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get outta your slums, Mr. Potter. And what’s wrong with that? Why — here, you’re all businessmen here. 

Don’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers? You, you said that they — What’d you say just a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even thought of a decent home. 

Wait? Wait for what?! Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that — You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? 

Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? 

Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.

5. Apollo 13

A monologue from the screenplay by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert

Jim Lovell 

Uh well, I’ll tell ya, I remember this one time – I’m in a Banshee at night in combat conditions, so there’s no running lights on the carrier. 

It was the Shrangri-La, and we were in the Sea of Japan and my radar had jammed, and my homing signal was gone… because somebody in Japan was actually using the same frequency. 

And so it was – it was leading me away from where I was supposed to be. And I’m lookin’ down at a big, black ocean, so I flip on my map light, and then suddenly: zap. Everything shorts out right there in my cockpit. 

All my instruments are gone. My lights are gone. And I can’t even tell now what my altitude is. I know I’m running out of fuel, so I’m thinking about ditching in the ocean. 

And I, I look down there, and then in the darkness there’s this uh, there’s this green trail. It’s like a long carpet that’s just laid out right beneath me. And it was the algae, right? 

It was that phosphorescent stuff that gets churned up in the wake of a big ship. And it was – it was – it was leading me home. You know? If my cockpit lights hadn’t shorted out, there’s no way I’d ever been able to see that. 

So uh, you, uh, never know… what… what events are to transpire to get you home.

6. The Matrix Revolutions

A monologue from the screenplay by Lily and Lana Wachowski

Agent Smith

Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you do it? Why? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something? Something more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? 

Do you even know? Is it freedom or truth? Perhaps peace? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence without meaning or purpose. 

And all as artificial as the Matrix itself, although, only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can’t win. 

There’s no point in fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?

7. Gangs Of New York

A monologue from the screenplay by JayCocks, Steven Zaillian, and Kenneth Lonergan

Bill “The Butcher” Cutting

No, I don’t never sleep too much. I have to sleep with one eye open, and I only got one eye, right?… I’m forty-seven. Forty-seven years old. You know how I stayed alive this long? 

All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike, raise it high up so all on the streets can see. 

That’s what preserves the order of things. Fear. That one tonight, who was he? A nobody. A coward. What an ignominious end that would have been. I killed the last honorable man fifteen years ago. 

Since then, it’s… You seen his portrait downstairs? (pause) Is your mouth all glued up with cunny juice? I asked you a question…. (Smiling) Oh, you got a murderous rage in you, and I like it. 

It’s life, boiling up inside of you. It’s good. The Priest and me, we lived by the same principles. It was only faith divided us. He gave me this, you know. That was the finest beating I ever took. 

My face was pulp, my guts was pierced, and my ribs was all mashed up. And when he came to finish me, I couldn’t look him in the eye. He spared me because he wanted me to live in shame. 

This was a great man. A great man. So I cut out the eye that looked away. Sent it to him wrapped in blue paper. I would have cut ’em both out if I could have fought him blind. 

Then I rose back up again with a full heart and buried him in his own blood… He was the only man I ever killed worth remembering. I never had a son. Civilization is crumbling.

(Bill gets painfully up from his chair, kisses his hand and places it on Amsterdam’s forehead) God bless you.

8. Cast Away

A monologue from the screenplay by William Broyles Jr.


We both had done the math. Kelly added it all up and… knew she had to let me go. I added it up, and knew that I had… lost her. ‘cos I was never gonna get off that island. I was gonna die there, totally alone. 

I was gonna get sick, or get injured or something. The only choice I had, the only thing I could control was when, and how, and where it was going to happen. So… I made a rope and I went up to the summit, to hang myself. 

I had to test it, you know? Of course. You know me. And the weight of the log, snapped the limb of the tree, so I-I — , I couldn’t even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over nothing. 

And that’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. 

And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. 

And now, here I am. I’m back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass… And I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. 

And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

9. Inglorious Basterds

A monologue from the screenplay by Quentin Tarantino

SS Colonel Hans Landa

Monsieur LaPadite, are you aware of the nickname the people of France have given me? … But you are aware of what they call me. … What are you aware of? … “The Jew Hunter.” … 

Precisely. I understand your trepidation in repeating it. Heydrich apparently hates the moniker the good people of Prague have bestowed on him. Actually, why he would hate the name “the Hangman” is baffling to me. 

It would appear he has done everything in his power to earn it. Now I, on the other hand, love my unofficial title precisely because I’ve earned it.

The feature that makes me such an effective hunter of the Jews is, as opposed to most German soldiers, I can think like a Jew where they can only think like a German. More precisely, a German soldier. 

Now, if one were to determine what attribute the German people share with a beast, it would be the cunning and the predatory instinct of a hawk. But if one were to determine what attributes the Jews share with a beast, it would be that of the rat. 

The Fuhrer and Goebbels’ propaganda have said pretty much the same thing. But where our conclusions differ, is I don’t consider the comparison an insult. Consider for a moment the world a rat lives in. 

It’s a hostile world, indeed. If a rat were to scamper through your front door, right now, would you greet it with hostility? … Has a rat ever done anything to you to create this animosity you feel toward them? 

Rats were the cause of the bubonic plague, but that’s some time ago. I propose to you any disease a rat could spread, a squirrel could equally carry. Would you agree? 

Yet, I assume you don’t share the same animosity with squirrels that you do with rats, do you? Yet, they’re both rodents, are they not? And except for the tail, they even rather look alike, don’t they? 

However interesting as the thought may be, it makes not one bit of difference to how you feel. If a rat were to walk in here, right now, as I’m talking would you greet it with a saucer of your delicious milk? 

I didn’t think so. You don’t like them. You don’t really know why you don’t like them. All you know is you find them repulsive. Consequently, a German soldier conducts a search of a house suspected of hiding Jews. 

Where does the hawk look? He looks in the barn, he looks in the attic, he looks in the cellar, he looks everywhere he would hide. But there are so many places it would never occur to a hawk to hide. 

However, the reason the Fuhrer has brought me off my Alps in Austria and placed me in French cow country today is because it does occur to me. Because I’m aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity.

May I smoke my pipe as well? … Now, my job dictates that I must have my men enter your home and conduct a thorough search before I can officially cross your family’s name off my list. 

And if there are any irregularities to be found, rest assured they will be. That is unless you have something to tell me that makes the conducting of a search unnecessary. 

I might add, also, that any information that makes the performance of my duty easier will not be met with punishment. Actually, quite the contrary. It will be met with reward. 

And that reward will be, your family will cease to be harassed in any way by the German military during the rest of our occupation of your country. You’re sheltering enemies of the state, are you not?

10. The Road 

A monologue from the screenplay by Joe Penhall


The clocks stopped at 1:17 one morning. There was a long shear of bright light, then a series of low concussions. Within a year there were fires on the ridges and deranged chanting. 

By day, the dead impaled on spikes along the road. I think it’s October but I can’t be sure. I haven’t kept a calendar for five years. Each day is more gray than the one before. 

Each night is darker, beyond darkness. The world gets colder week by week as the world slowly dies. No animals have survived. All the crops are long gone. Someday all the trees in the world will have fallen. 

The roads are peopled by refugees towing carts and road gangs looking for fuel and food. There has been cannibalism. Cannibalism is the great fear. Mostly I worry about food. Always food. 

Food and our shoes. Sometimes I tell the boy old stories of courage and justice, difficult as they are to remember. All I know is the child is my warrant and if he is not the word of God, then God never spoke.

Read the script play here

11. Up In The Air

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53 Best Dramatic Shakespeare Monologues For Men

1. Richard II

King Richard II

No matter where – of comfort no man speak.
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs,
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let’s choose executors and talk of wills.
And yet not so – for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all, are Bolingbroke’s,
And nothing can we call our own but death;
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos’d, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,
Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping kill’d,
All murdered – for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court, and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable; and, humour’d thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence; throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty;
For you have but mistook me all this while.
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends – subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a king?

Read the play here

2. Richard II

Act 5, Scene 5

King Richard II

I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world;
And, for because the world is populous
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it. Yet I’ll hammer it out.
My brain I’ll prove the female to my soul,
My soul the father, and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
And these same thoughts people this little world,
In humours like the people of this world;
For no thought is contented. The better sort,
As thoughts of things divine, are intermix’d
With scruples, and do set the word itself against the word,
As thus: ‘Come, little ones’; and then again,
‘It is as hard to come as for a camel
To thread the postern of a small needle’s eye.’
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
And for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune’s slaves,
Nor shall not be the last — like silly beggars
Who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,
That many have and others must sit there;
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
Of such as have before endured the like.
Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented. Sometimes am I king;
Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king’d again, and by and by
Think that I am unking’d by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing: but whate’er I be,
Nor I, nor any man that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eas’d
With being nothing.

Read the play here

3. Antony And Cleopatra

Act 4, Scene 12


All is lost!
This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me.
My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder
They cast their caps up and carouse together
Like friends long lost. Triple-turned wh*re! ‘Tis thou
Hast sold me to this novice, and my heart
Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly!
For when I am revenged upon my charm,
I have done all. Bid them all fly! Be gone!
O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more.
Fortune and Antony part here; even here
Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts
That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave
Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
On blossoming Caesar, and this pine is barked
That overtopped them all. Betrayed I am.
O this false soul of Egypt! This grave charm
Whose eye becked forth my wars and called them home,
Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end,
Like a right gipsy hath at fast and loose,
Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
What, Eros, Eros!

Read the play here

4. Antony And Cleopatra

Act III, Scene 11


Hark! the land bids me tread no more upon’t;
It is ashamed to bear me! Friends, come hither:
I am so lated in the world, that I
Have lost my way for ever: I have a ship
Laden with gold; take that, divide it; fly,
And make your peace with Caesar.
All. Fly! not we.
Antony. I have fled myself; and have instructed cowards
To run and show their shoulders. Friends, be gone;
I have myself resolved upon a course
Which has no need of you; be gone:
My treasure’s in the harbour, take it. O,
I follow’d that I blush to look upon:
My very hairs do mutiny; for the white
Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them
For fear and doting. Friends, be gone: you shall
Have letters from me to some friends that will
Sweep your way for you. Pray you, look not sad,
Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint
Which my despair proclaims; let that be left
Which leaves itself: to the sea-side straightway:
I will possess you of that ship and treasure.
Leave me, I pray, a little: pray you now:
Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost command,
Therefore I pray you: I’ll see you by and by.

Read the play here

5. Hamlet

Act I, Scene 2


O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month–
Let me not think on’t–Frailty, thy name is woman!–
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow’d my poor father’s body,
Like Niobe, all tears:–why she, even she–
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn’d longer–married with my uncle,
My father’s brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Read the play here

6. Hamlet

Act III, Scene 3


O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon’t,
A brother’s murther! Pray can I not,
Though inclination be as sharp as will.
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent,
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother’s blood,
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what’s in prayer but this twofold force,
To be forestalled ere we come to fall,
Or pardon’d being down? Then I’ll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? ‘Forgive me my foul murther’?
That cannot be; since I am still possess’
Of those effects for which I did the murther-
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon’d and retain th’ offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law; but ’tis not so above.
There is no shuffling; there the action lies
In his true nature, and we ourselves compell’d,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? What rests?
Try what repentance can. What can it not?
Yet what can it when one cannot repent?
O wretched state! O bosom black as death
O limed soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag’d! Help, angels! Make assay.
Bow, stubborn knees; and heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
All may be well. He kneels.

Read the play here

7. Titus Andronicus

Act 5 Scene 1


Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day – and yet I think
Few come within the compass of my curse –
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
As kill a man or else devise his death,
Ravish a maid or plot the way to do it,
Accuse some innocent and forswear myself,
Set deadly enmity between two friends,
Make poor men’s cattle break their necks,
Set fire on barns and haystacks in the night
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digged up dead men from their graves
And set them upright at their dear friends’ door,
Even when their sorrows almost was forgot,
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
‘Let not your sorrow die though I am dead.’
Tut , I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.

Read the play here

8. Titus Andronicus

Act 5, Scene 2


Come, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are bound.
Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me;
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Here stands the spring whom you have stain’d with mud,
This goodly summer ‘swith your winter mix’d.
You kill’d her husband, and for that vile fault
Two of her brothers were condemn’d to death,
My hand cut off and made a merry jest;
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Inhuman traitors, you constrain’d and forced
What would you say, if I should let you speak?
Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace.
Hark, wretches! how I mean to martyr you.
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
Whilst that Lavinia ‘tween her stumps doth hold
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
You know your mother means to feast with me,
And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad:
Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust
And with your blood and it I’ll make a paste,
And of the paste a coffin I will rear
And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
And bid that strumpet, your unhallow’d dam,
Like to the earth swallow her own increase.
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
And worse than Progne I will be revenge:
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
He cuts their throats
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead
Let me go grind their bones to powder small
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
Come, come, be every one officious
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs’ feast.
So, now bring them in, for I’ll play the cook,
And see them ready ‘gainst their mother comes.

Read the play here

9. Macbeth

Act 1 Scene 7


If it were done, when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all – here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongu’d, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven’s Cherubins, hors’d
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
And falls on the other.

Read the play here

10. Macbeth

Act IV, Scene 3


Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
From over-credulous haste: but God above
Deal between thee and me! for even now
I put myself to thy direction, and
Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself
For strangers to my nature. I am yet
Unknown to woman, never was forsworn,
Scarcely have coveted what was mine own,
At no time broke my faith, would not betray
The devil to his fellow and delight
No less in truth than life: my first false speaking
Was this upon myself: what I am truly,
Is thine and my poor country’s to command:
Whither indeed, before thy here-approach,
Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men,
Already at a point, was setting forth.
Now we’ll together; and the chance of goodness
Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?

Read the play here

11. Othello

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