30 Best One Minute Monologues for Men
1. Raisin In The Sun
A monologue from the play by Lorraine Hansberry
Act 3, Scene 1
Talking ‘bout life, Mama. You all always telling me to see life like it is. Well – I laid in there on my back today… and I figured it out. Life is just like it is. Who gets and who don’t get. Mama, you know it’s all divided up.
Life is. Sure enough. Between the takers and the “tooken.” I’ve figured it out finally. Yeah. some of us always getting “tooken.” People like Willy Harris, they don’t never get “tooken.” And you know why the rest of us do?
‘Cause we all mixed up. Mixed up bad. We get to looking ‘round for the right and the wrong; and we worry about it and cry about it and stay up nights trying to figure out ‘bout the wrong and the right of things all the time…
And all the time, man, them takers is out there operating, just taking and taking. Willy Harris? Shoot – Willy Harris don’t even count. He don’t even count in the big scheme of things.
But I’ll say one thing for old Willy Harris… he’s taught me something. He’s taught me to keep my eye on what counts in this world. Yeah – Thanks, Willy!
A monologue from the play by Patricia Cornelius
The moment I saw you I thought, you are beautiful, really beautiful, so beautiful, and small. Beautiful and small.
I loved you. I saw you and I couldn’t keep my hands off you. Wanted to touch you, pick you up, feel your beautiful little body in my hands.
Something about how little you were, how I could hold you, how I could lift you right off the ground, made me feel a big man.
And a good man, a really good man. I wanted to look after you. Never wanted that before. Now look at you. F***.
Look at you, you’re nineteen and you look like an old crow. F***. Look at you. You used to have some pride in the way you looked, dressed up you looked beautiful.
It felt good to be seen with you. Like, feast your eyes on this, and she’s mine. Now who wants you, looking the way you look, who’d come near you?
You’re a slag, an old rag. Get up. F***ing get up would you, you f***ing useless scrag. Get up!
3. Flowers in the Desert
A monologue from the play by D.M. Larson
Before you punch me there is something you should know. This woman we’re fighting over is no ordinary woman… I want the world to know how great she is…She is amazing … She is so very good…
She has made me happier than I thought was possible. Before her, it was like I was living in black and white and suddenly she brought color to my world. And by some miracles she chose me.
I thought she was wonderful of course but I never thought in a million years she’d want me. She was the princess to my pauper. The Batman to my Robin. The Picard to my Wesley Crusher.
She was so much better and I was so unworthy yet she wants me. By some incredible stroke of luck, she wants me. And her kisses will last me until death…
Which might not be very far off. Yes, we’re talking about the same woman, you idiot. (Takes off glasses) And now you can punch me.
4. THE DESTINY OF ME
A monologue from the play by Larry Kramer
(Changing from his street clothes.) What do you do when you’re dying from a disease you need not be dying from? What do you do when the only system set up to save you is a pile of sh*t run by idiots and quacks?
What do you do when your own people won’t unite and fight together to save their own lives?
What do you do when you’ve tried every tactic you can think of to fight back and none of them has worked and you are now not only completely destitute of new ideas but suddenly more frightened than you’ve been before that your days are finally and at last more numbered and finite and that obit in The New York Times is shortly to be yours?
Why, you talk yourself into believing the quack is a genius (Massages his sore a**.) and his latest vat of voodoo is a major scientific breakthrough. And you check yourself in. So, here I am.
5. THE YEARS
A monologue from the play by Cindy Lou Johnson
People just . . . kill me. [ELOISE: What do you mean.] I mean we’re all so limited. I don’t mean financially or emotionally—I just mean—by life,
like somehow our resources have been severely limited, like we have no maps, no real guideposts, and in spite of it we seem to want to go on. We go to sleep and get up and eat these little meals, you know?
And on top of it, someone like Isabella even puts a little flower by our plates, just for beauty, just for something special, just so that moment matters. And it kills me. It just practically breaks me in two.
And that’s why I have to take these pictures. I have to, just to say to whoever it is, I see you, which— all right—what does anyone care if I see them, except I care. I mean it affects me.
I mean when I get right down to it, it’s the main thing that matters to me. I guess my camera is that special thing for me, the little flower I can put by someone’s plate—just a way to say this moment matters.
6. Charlie & Flo
A monologue from the play by Laurie Graff
I got a scholarship. [FLO: What??] A full scholarship. To Cornell. [FLO: Why didn’t you tell me?] I wanted to tell you. I came home.
It was the night you came home screaming because the supermarket was out of the Yerzheit candles, and you wanted to light one for Dad.
I was really excited to tell you, but you were angry ’cause I had the guys over and we were playing football in the living room. And then I forgot to shut the windows and it rained in, and I forgot to defrost, and you just kept yelling at me.
Then, a few days later, I went into the kitchen to tell you, after you did the dishes. And you were sitting there talking to the empty Yetzheit glass—one we keep for juice—and you were telling Dad you were happy about C.C.N.Y. because you didn’t want to be alone.
And you didn’t tell him about Mr. Bernstein. I felt really bad for you. I didn’t want to tell you I wanted to go away. (Pause.) I’m going to Cornell, Ma. It’s gonna be great for me and I’m going. But I love you. And I’ll come home from the holidays.
7. Heading West
A monologue from the play by Philip Goulding
I can‘t seem to look at her, I dunno why. Whether it’s I blame her somewhere dark inside myself or just cos I fear, as you say, that it’d be like looking at Lizzie herself . . .
I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t seem to face her. Oh I know the child ain’t to blame, I know that in my head, and I know she’s part of Lizzie and part of me and so I should feel something . . . else from what I do, but I just can’t.
I thought I was a strong man George, but I been laid low by this and I can’t seem to figure out the right way through.
It’s all just anger over why, and when we’d come so far, and it was only ever her as had the answers and now she’s gone and I feel so bloomin useless and so lost and so alone . . .
8. BIG TIM AND FANNY
A monologue from the play by Jack Gilhooley and Daniel Czitrom
I volunteered to help. There wasn’t enough firemens and their ladders wouldn’t reach high enough. My mother was watchin’ the fire an’ she said, “Luther, why’re you riskin’ your life? Triangle won’t even hire coloreds.
” But i figgered iffn they did an’ she was up there, I’d want someone riskin’ his life for her. I held the life nets but three bodies hit in a row. We got lifted offa our feets an’ somersaulted onta the nets.
Later, we was told that each body was like 11,000 pounds hittin’. How could we hold onta the nets when bodies were going’ right through the sidewalks?
When we finally forced open the door an’ run up, I seen a guy on the second floor. He was standin’ an’ lookin’ outta the window. There didn’t seem to’be nothin’ wrong with him. He just wasn’t . . . “there.”
Seems he opened the window when he smelled smoke. An’ this girl plunged past him. Whoooosh! Then annuder. An’ annuder. An’ then he went inta shock.
Upstairs, we come across two girls at their machines. They wasn’t really girls, though. They was skeletons . . . blackened bones.
9. Born Guilty
A monologue from the play by Ari Roth (Based on the book by Peter Sichrovsky)
The dream is always the same. Always at night, they come, tear me out of bed, push me into a car, men in uniforms. We stop at a house. I’m shoved down stairs into a room. A white room.
I’m handed a towel and a cake of soap. They rip off my pajamas. Doors lock. I look up, I see them: Shower heads. And through the holes a hiss. Hssss. Fall to the floor. Trouble breathing. Beginning to choke.
Rush for the door, try to open it, bang on it, eyes are burning. Fingernails. Excrement. Silent scream . . . My parents eating cheesecake. I wake up. Soon as I close my eyes it starts again: Shower heads . . . Fingernails . . . Cheesecake.
10. Domestic Violence
A monologue from the play by Frederick Stroppel
For Christ’s sake, we’ve been married ten years and for ten years you’ve been the perfect wife. You never complain, you never demand . . . you completely subordinate your own wants and needs for the sake of my casual comfort.
I lift a finger, and you jump. I get drunk, you tuck me in bed. I gamble away my paycheck, you console me. I take off a dirty shirt, it’s clean by morning. I go to work, there are flowers on my desk.
I go to the bathroom, there’s full roll of toilet paper. A full roll! Every time! How do you do that? Any other woman would castrate her husband if he went to a football game on their anniversary.
Not you. You buy me tickets! How do you think that makes me feel?
No! Not happy! Sick! I’m sick of it! I can’t take this sh*t anymore! Did it ever occur to you that maybe I don’t want a perfect wife? That maybe I’m tired of seeing you do everything right?
That maybe just once I’d like to see you make a fool of yourself? Or say something vicious? Or do something human? In ten years of marriage, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you fart. I don’t think you can.
11. Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me
A monologue from the play by Frank McGuiness
A car crash. She was driving to work. It was the month of May. I wasn’t with her. I was revising an article at home. I answered the phone and the university told me she was unconscious, at the scene of the accident.
I knew. I sat by the phone. Half an hour later they rang to say she was dead. I went to identify her. She looked like a child who’d fallen off her bike. It was me persuaded her to buy a car. We were both working.
We could afford a car. Full of love and goodness. Gone. Such is life. I slept for some time afterwards with the bedroom light on. Then one night I switched off the light. Gone. Happy Christmas, Edward.
12. Stanton’s Garage
A monologue from the play by Joan Ackerman
See, the problem was I never made it to court. For my divorce. I never went. I didn’t want to go, I didn’t have to go, my lawyer told me, but. . . it was a mistake. You have to go to events like that. You have to be there.
You have to be at your . . . birth. To get the full effect. You have to go to funerals, watch the body being lowered into the ground, being covered with dirt, shovelful by shovelful. Then you know. . . you know where the body is.
In the ground. There’s no doubt. You have to go to your own divorce, sit in the courtroom, hold your coat in your lap, look at the judge, look at your lawyer, look at her lawyer. Make the appropriate expressions.
Hear the flies. Then you have something. Then you have pieces, concrete pieces. I can’t see it. I don’t have her face getting divorced. I never saw our marriage officially pronounced dead. It’s been a problem.
13. While You Lie
A monologue from the play by Sam Holcroft
I’ve missed your smell. I’ve been craving to touch you all day. What’s wrong? Don’t you want to? I think about you all the time. I don’t know what you’ve done to me. I’ve never f***ed a foreigner before.
This feels so . . . exotic. I’ll lock the door. Look. Today I was in my car and a woman stopped by my window on her bicycle. She was powerfully muscular, okay?
And as the lights changed she powered down on the pedals, the muscles went tight beneath the skin and she took oﬀ. And it was . . . (He tries to ﬁnd the words for the sexuality of it.)
It was . . . It is about weighing up the risk. Even the women I do not f*** are an assessment of risk. Yes. You are worth the risk.
A monologue from the play by Naomi Iizuka
You’re late. You’re always late. You know this place? It used to be a Japanese restaurant. I used to come in here all the time and have the teriyaki bowl. Now it’s—I don’t know what the hell it is— Vietnamese, I think.
Things change. ( Beat. ) How long has it been, Vince? Has it been a year? Man o man, time ﬂies. I just retired. I don’t think you knew that. It’s a new day.
All that bullsh*t I used to have to deal with, guys jamming you up cause they can, saying sh*t about you soon as you turn your back, never giving you the respect you deserve.
I’m done. It’s somebody else’s problem now. ( Beat. ) I never did get a chance to thank you. Without you ﬂipping like you did on all your old buddies, I would never have made that last bust.
Got a little bronze-plated medal. Got my picture taken with the mayor. Twenty-ﬁve years on the force and that’s what I get. A handshake and a smile.
15. The Method gun
A monologue from the play by Kirk Lynn and Rude Mechs
You know, what I think’s wrong— The gods—they’re tired of us They think our stories are boring. They think our theater stinks. It really gets to you after a while. And actors are freaks, you know?
You spend all your time with a bunch of actors and before you know it, you’re a freak yourself. Can’t avoid it. I got a tattoo, see? (ROBERT shows oﬀ his tattoo . The audience’s reaction is discouraging.)
Looks stupid, doesn’t it? That’s it. I’m getting to be a freak, too. I’m not a complete idiot, yet, I can still use my head, but my heart . . . I don’t have any passion for anything anymore.
I don’t want anything. I don’t need anything. I don’t love anybody— No, that’s not right.
16. 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 g*ddamn 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.
17. DINNER WITH FRIENDS
A monologue from the play by Donald Margulies
What are you thinking? Come on, I know you , I know that look . . . Gabe . . . I’m trying to tell you . . . I was dying! You don’t understand that, do you? I was losing the will to live, isn’t that dying?
The life I was leading had no relationship to who I was or what I wanted. It was deadening. The constant logistics of: “You pick up Sam and take him to lollypop tennis, I’ll take Laurie to hockey practice . . . ”
This is what we’d talk about! No, really. This would pass for conversation in our house. The dog ﬁnished me oﬀ. Oh, man, that dog. Sarge. It wasn’t enough that we had two cats and a guinea pig, no, Beth felt the kids had to have a dog because she had a dog.
I’d spent my entire adult life cleaning up one form of sh*t or another, now I was on to dog sh*t. I should’ve gone into waste management. How do you keep love alive when you’re shoveling sh*t all day long?
A monologue from the play by Slawomir Mrozek (Translated by Ralph Manheim & Teresa Dzieduscycka)
Stromil (Polish man in his 50s)
[Unfortunately?] You don’t know what you’re saying. If you’d lived in those days, you’d know how much we’ve done for you. You have no idea what the world was like then.
Can you imagine how much courage it took to dance the tango? Do you realize that in those days there were hardly any fallen women?
That the only recognized style of painting was natural ism? That the theater was utterly bourgeois? Stifling. Insufferable.
You couldn’t even put your elbows down on the dinner table! I can still remember a youth demonstration on that very issue. Why, it wasn’t until after 1900 that the boldest, the most advanced spirits stopped giving up their seats to elderly people.
No, we didn’t spare ourselves in our struggle for these rights and if you today can push your grandmother around, its to us your thanks are due. You simply can’t imagine how much you owe us.
To think how we struggled to give you this freedom which you now despise!
A monologue from the play by Albert Innaurato
Well, Lucille had a fight wit Aunt Emma. That’s why we came back. It was over water bugs. I didn’t see no water bugs. But Lucille said they was everywhere.
Aunt Emma thought she was accusin’ her of bein’ dirty. So we came back. (…)
She’s good people, she means well. There ain’t nothin’ like a woman’s company, remember that, my son, there ain’t nothin’ like a woman.
You can think there is. I thought the horses was just as good; hell, I thought the horses was better. But I was wrong. But you gotta be careful of white women.
I guess us dagos go afta them; hell, I went afta you mother, and she was white as this Judith, though not near as pretty. But you gotta be careful of them kinda women.
A white woman’s like a big hole, you can never be sure what’s in there. So you be careful, even if she is a Italian major. What do you want for your birthday tomorrow?
20. The End Of the Day
A monologue from the play by Jon Robin Baitz
And do you imagine, you self-righteous, impotent little do gooder, that you’ve ever been of any assistance to any of these people? Because this isn’t a hospital —nothing works!
In a real hospital, people come in sick and leave better. In a real hospital,
someone can get a splint, an aspirin, a band-aid.
In a real hospital, there are stitches. In a real hospital, there are orderlies. Not rivers of plasma and vomit and just three Trinidadian residents who can’t tell the difference between measles, smallpox and sarcoma.
So please don’t lecture me on being here until you find a way to run this place competently! Instead of lording over the sick so as to feel better as they pop off.
You’re worse than I am, lady, because you know precisely what you’re doing and—even more—contemptibly—you know what you should be doing.
Which makes you nothing so much as a ghoulish little commandant, Dr. Mengele’s bookkeeper!
A monologue from the play by David Mamet
Oh. Nothing is impossible. Not to “God,” is that what you’re saying? (…) Well, then, you’re full of sh*t. You understand that. If nothing’s impossible to God, then let him let me walk out of here and be free.
Let him cause a new day. In a perfect land full of life. And air. Where people are kind to each other, and there’s work to do. Where we grow up in love, and in security we’re wanted.
(Pause.) Let him do that. Let him. Tell him to do that. (Pause.) You a**hole—if nothing’s impossible… I think that must be easy…
Not: “Let me fly/’ or, “If there is a God make him to make the sun come out at night.” Go on. Please. Please. Please. I’m begging you. If you’re so smart.
Let him do that: Let him do that. (Pause.) Please. (Pause.) Please. I’m begging you.
22. The Zykovs
A monologue from the play by Maxim Gorky. (Translated by Alexander Bakshy)
Is it my fault I’m in better health? Is it my fault I don’t feel sorry for those who are good-for-nothing? I love business. I love work. On whose bones has this world been built?
Whose sweat and blood have watered the earth? That hasn’t been done by the likes of him and you. Can he take upon himself the work I do? (…)
Hundreds of people live without want, hundreds have come up in the world, thanks to my work and my father’s before me. What has he done?
I did something wrong, but at least I’m always working toward some end. To listen to you kindhearted people, every kind of work is a sin against something. That’s not true.
My father used to say, if you don’t kill poverty you don’t wash away sin, and that’s the truth.
23. The Game Of Chess
A monologue from the play by Kenneth Sawyer Goodman
Ah, your order against mine, eh? Centuries of pain against centuries of oppression. Well, well! You set aside today, do you?
You throw your own little pains and penalties out of the scale on one side, and my little tyrannies and floggings and acts of villainy out on the other?
You see yourself only as the avenger of a caste against a caste. The right of vengeance and the need of it comes down to you in the blood, does it?
You’re exalted by the breath of dead peasants, are you? It’s because of that and only because of it that you take pride in the work you’ve set your hand to. Huh! Grotesque!
You strike the air with a rod of smoke. You’ve stumbled upon the essence of the inane.
You’re about to commit a fantastic mockery of Justice.
24. The Call
A monologue from the play by Patricia Cornelius
You’ve got it all wrong. It come to me like a whack on the back of the head, like the floor’s suddenly given way. An epiphany, that’s what I’m having.
Ever heard of an epiphany, Aldo? It’s like God’s spoken, like lightning, some f***ing big moment of enlightenment. And I’m having it. It’s all crap. It’s a big load of bull.
A hoax. Someone major’s pulling our leg, got us by the throat and is throttling us, got us boxed in, packed up. Nothing—means—nothing. You got it?
Once you got that, you’re living free. Who says how life’s meant to be? Who says what’s good, what you should or shouldn’t do? Who in hell’s got the right to measure a man’s
He did this, he did that, he got that job, he got paid a lot. F*** off. He owns a house, a wife, two kids. So what? He’s a lawyer, a doctor, he’s made a success of his life.
No success story for the likes of us. And you know what? I don’t give a sh*t. Finally it’s clear to me. It’s all crap. And I’m free of it at last.
25. The Father We Loved On A Beach By The Sea
A monologue from the play by Stephen Sewell
What’s the matter with you? Haven’t you got f***ing eyes? Look at the place! They’ve turned it into a f***ing prison…Jesus Christ. You never understood, did you?
What did you want me to do? Turn my back on the whole thing? You bring me up to believe in truth and charity and then you want me to ignore what’s going on in the world.
You can napalm f***ing peasants to the sh*thouse and still receive communion on Sunday. The cops can murder blacks in the streets, but the rule of law still holds.
Did you ever ask whose law? Didn’t you ever ask why you ate bread an’ dripping an’ them on the North Shore fed steak to their dogs? F*** me dead.
If you wanted me to be anything else, why didn’t you just teach me how to cheat an’ swindle a fortune for myself an’ leave it at that?
… Why don’t you say something to me, for God’s sake? Why didn’t you ever say anything to me? Were you frightened of me? Don’t you think I need you?
26. It’s Only A Play
A monologue from the play by Terrence McNally
I’ve had fourteen hits in a row in London, I’ve won twelve Olivier and four Evening Standard awards. I want a flop. I need a flop. Somebody, tell me: When is it my turn to fail? I can’t go on like this – the critics’ darling. […]
I am in despair, people. The emperor isn’t wearing any clothes! I’m a fake. My work is a fake. I make this sh*t up as I go along. I don’t know what I’m doing half the time and when I do, it terrifies me it’s so bad.
I’m no good. You’ve got to believe me, I’m no good. […] The only flops I’ve ever had were at drama school. Nobody liked my production of anything. My space-age Oedipus Rex. My spoken La Boheme.
My gay Waiting for Godot. But what got me expelled was my Titus Andronicus. I did the whole thing in mime. No dialogue. No poetry. No Shakespeare.
A monologue from the play by Adam Szymkowicz
I feel like such a f***ing idiot. You come over looking for a friend and I’m . . . I guess I thought . . . I’ve always had this problem. It’s not just you.
Sometimes you see the signals you want to see instead of the signals that are actually there. I used to ask. I used to say, ‚Äúcan I kiss you now‚Äù but it’s so unromantic.
So unspontaneous. I just thought . . . But yeah. Sorry about that. I guess I needed you to want that whether or not you did. I guess I just really need something right now.
This whole thing has been really f***ed up. Not just being sober, but . . . I was a whole different person. I never thought I’d be the kind of person who — It’s been really hard to get through the day.
I stopped drinking because I had to. I couldn’t keep going that way but now I’m trying to figure out how to keep living, you know? I’m running out of reasons to stay alive.
Not that — I’m sorry. This isn’t your problem. You don’t want to hear this. Right? Ted? Are you still there?
28. The Cherry Orchard
A monologue from the play by Anton Chekov
Think, Anya, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, and all your ancestors were serf-owners, they owned living souls; and now, doesn’t something human look at you from every cherry in the orchard, every leaf and every stalk?
Don’t you hear voices…? Oh, it’s awful, your orchard is terrible; and when in the evening or at night you walk through the orchard,
then the old bark on the trees sheds a dim light and the old cherry-trees seem to be dreaming of all that was a hundred, two hundred years ago, and are oppressed by their heavy visions.
Still, at any rate, we’ve left those two hundred years behind us. So far we’ve gained nothing at all—we don’t yet know what the past is to be to us—we only philosophize, we complain that we are dull, or we drink vodka.
For it’s so clear that in order to begin to live in the present we must first redeem the past, and that can only be done by suffering, by strenuous, uninterrupted labour.
Understand that, Anya.
29. The Importance of Being Earnest
A monologue from the play by Oscar Wilde
I haven’t the smallest intention of dining with Aunt Augusta. To begin with, I dined thereon Monday, and once a week is quite enough to dine with one’s own relations.
In thesecond place, whenever I do dine there I am always treated as a member of the family,and sent down with either no woman at all, or two. In the third place, I know perfectlywell whom she will place me next to, to-night.
She will place me next Mary Farquhar,who always flirts with her own husband across the dinner-table. That is not very pleasant. Indeed, it is not even decent . . . and that sort of thing is enormously on the increase.
The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one’s clean linen in public.
30. About Spontaneous Combustion
A monologue from the play by Sherry Kramer
I was not always afraid of golfing, Rob. I was not afraid of golfing, before I was married. Why, did you know that Molly’s mother and I met on the course? We went out together every Saturday.
But then Mary Catherine was born. And just like that I felt the thrust of my life forcing me to live one long life insurance commercial every time I stepped on to a tee box.
Other golfers terrified me, I had to let everyone of them play through, had to keep my eye on them all, making sure I never had my back to their wood shots. And the lightening.
Suddenly the merest possibility of a storm sent me full throttle to the club house. My irons somersaulting off the back of the cart. And all to get home safe to Victoria, to Mary Catherine, and to my Molly.
Once I . . . once I . . . I ran my cart over the 18th green. I was so desperate to get back to them. That was the last time I ever went out on the course.