Our recent selection of Shakespeare monologues for auditions proved so popular that we thought it was only fair to offer up another batch of favourites.
1. Lady Macbeth, Macbeth Act 1 Scene 5
First line: "They met me in the day of success"
Good for: Action
Lady Macbeth reads her husband's letter recounting the prophecy of the three witches, and vows to see it come true. She promises to "pour my spirits in thine ear", persuading Macbeth to do whatever it takes to achieve the crown. It's a great audition speech in a play packed with them.
2. Richard II, Richard II Act 3 Scene 2
First line: "For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground"
Good for: Control
This is Richard II's most famous speech, and for good reason. It's a melancholy meditation on the fact that kings - who wear "the hollow crown" - are real people; a near-treasonous thought in the days when they were considered to be anointed by God.
3. Mistress Ford, The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 2 Scene 1
First line: "We burn daylight"
Good for: Humour
Mistress Ford, having discovered Falstaff has sent her the same love letter as Mistress Page, vows to take revenge on the "whale". This is a short speech but packed with meaty language and clear in its intention. If you're going for a character role it could be just the ticket.
4. Antony, Julius Caesar Act 3 Scene 1
First line: "O mighty Caesar! dost thou lie so low?"
Good for: Passion
Although not as famous as his 'Friends, Romans, countrymen' address, this speech - delivered by Antony over the body of the murdered Caesar - is just as skilful. Antony praises his late friend and then tells the conspirators to murder him as well if they wish, knowing the tide is sure to turn against them.
5. Miranda, The Tempest Act 1 Scene 2
First line: "If by your art, my dearest father"
Good for: Emotion
Miranda begs her father Prospero to calm the seas after witnessing the terrible shipwreck that begins the play. She recounts the dying sailors with great anguish: "the cry did knock / Against my very heart"; using emotive language to persuasive effect.
6. Gloucester, Richard III Act 1 Scene 2
First line: "Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?"
Good for: Villainy
In this machiavellian speech Richard boasts about his seduction of Lady Anne over the coffin of her husband (who he has murdered). He even talks of her late husband's virtues compares to his own, mocking her for considering him. It's deliciously dark.
7. Kate, The Taming of the Shrew Act 4 Scene 3
First line: "The more my wrong, the more his spite appears"
Good for: Incredulity
Kate is astonished at her new husband Petruchio's behaviour towards her, and shares her indignation with Grumio, his servant. He has been denying her food and clothing under the pretence nothing is good enough for her. "What, did he marry me to famish me?"
8. Coriolanus, Coriolanus Act 2 Scene 3
First line: "Most sweet voices!"
Good for: Strength
Coriolanus is incandescent that he has to persuade the commoners to approve his position of consul when he feels he has already proven himself worth of it. It reveals much about his arrogant nature and can be played with a measure of dramatic irony.
See Also: 5 Must-Watch Audition Tapes on YouTube
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