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Female Monologues


Viola Act 2 Scene 2

(Twelfth Night)


I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charm’d her!
She made good view of me, indeed so much,
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord’s ring? Why, he sent her none.
I am the man: if it be so, as ’tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? My master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him,
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me:
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master’s love:
As I am woman (now alas the day!)
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe?
O time, thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me t’untie.

Phoebe Act 3 Scene 5

(As You Like It)

Think not I love him though I ask for him.
’Tis but a peevish boy – yet he talks well.
But what care I for words? Yet words do well
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth – not very pretty –
But sure he’s proud, and yet his pride becomes him.
He’ll make a proper man. The best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall, yet for his years he’s tall;
His leg is but so-so, and yet ’tis well.
There was a pretty redness in his lip,
A little riper and more lusty red
Than that mixed in his cheek. ’Twas just the difference
Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they marked him
In parcels as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him; but for my part
I love him not – nor hate him not. And yet
I have more cause to hate him than to love him,
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black and my hair black,
And now I am remembered, scorned at me.
I marvel why I answered not again.
But that’s all one – omittance is no quittance.
I’ll write to him a very taunting letter
And thou shalt bear it. Wilt thou, Silvius?

Nurse Act 1 Scene 3

(Romeo and Juliet)

Even or odd of all days in the year,
Come Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen.
Susan and she, God rest all Christian souls,
Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God;
She was too good for me. But as I said,
On Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen,
That shall she, marry! I remember it well.
’Tis since the earthquake now eleven years,
And she was weaned, I never shall forget it,
Of all the days of the year upon that day.
For I had then laid wormwood to my dug,
Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall.
My lord and you were then at Mantua.
Nay, I do bear a brain. But as I said,
When it did taste the wormwood on the nipple
Of my dug and felt it bitter, pretty fool,
To see it tetchy and fall out with the dug!
‘Shake’, quoth the dovehouse. ’Twas no need, I trow,
To bid me trudge .
And since that time it is eleven years,
For then she could stand high-lone ; nay, by th’ rood,
She could have run and waddled all about,
For even the day before she broke her brow.
And then my husband – God be with his soul,
’A was a merry man – took up the child:
‘Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face?
Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit,
Wilt thou not, Jule?’ And by my holidam,
The pretty wretch left crying and said ‘Ay’.
To see now how a jest shall come about!
I warrant, an I should live a thousand years,
I never should forget it. ‘Wilt thou not, Jule?’ quoth he,
And, pretty fool, it stinted and said ‘Ay’.


Male Monologues

Benedick Act 2 Scene 3

(Much Ado About Nothing)

This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady: it seems her affections have their full bent.

Love me! Why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; / they say too that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did never think to marry: I must not seem proud: happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending.

They say the lady is fair; ’tis a truth, I can bear them witness; and virtuous; ’tis so, I cannot reprove it; and wise, but for loving me; by my troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her.

I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have railed so long against marriage:  but doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.

Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humour? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.

Here comes Beatrice. By this day! She’s a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.

Lance Act 2 Scene 3

(Two Gentlemen of Verona)


No, it’ll be this time tomorrow before I’ve stopped crying. All the members of the Lance family have this fault. I’ve received my portion of the family trait, just like the prodigious son , and now I’m going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial court in Milan. I think Crab, my dog, has the sourest personality of any dog alive. Even with my mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, and our cat wringing her hands, this cruel-hearted mutt didn’t shed a single tear. Even a Jew would have wept to see us saying goodbye to each other. Why, my grandmother—who doesn’t have use of her eyes, you see—cried herself blind when I said goodbye. No, I’ll demonstrate what happened. This shoe represents my father. No, this left shoe is my father. No, no, this left shoe is my mother. No, that can’t be right either. Yes it is, it is—it has the sole that isn’t as good. This shoe, with the hole in it, is my mother, and this one is my father. Take that! That’s right now. Now, sir, this wooden stick is my sister, because, you see, it is as white as a lily and as thin as a twig. This hat is Nan, our maid. I am the dog. No wait, the dog is himself, and I am the dog—oh, I mean, the dog is me, and I am myself. Okay, okay, that’s it. Now I go to my father and say, “Father, give me your blessing.” Now the shoe can’t say a word because it’s crying so hard. Now I’ll kiss my father. Well, he keeps crying. Now I come to my mother. Oh, I wish this shoe could speak full of emotion now! Well, I kiss her. And that’s the way it happened. Here’s how she breathed from crying so much. Now I come to my sister. Listen to the moans she makes because she’s so sad. All the while the dog doesn’t shed a single tear or speak a word. See how I flatten the dust with my tears?

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