8 Short Shakespeare Speeches To Recite While Washing Your Hands

Written by Rose Helsinger

March 30th, 2020

Why not spice up your twenty second long hand washing routine with a little Shakespeare? Print these speeches out and beside your sink as you wash your hands. You might even have a new monologue memorized by the end of the quarantine. All these speeches are at least twenty seconds and long enough to scrub your hands and brush up your Shakespeare.

“Out damned spot…” by Lady Macbeth from Macbeth

This monologue is perfect for when you really need to scrub up those hands. It’s desperate, emotional, and guaranteed to keep those hands clean. You can keep yourself spotless and scrub like the king of Scotland’s blood is still on your hands.

Get it Here

“Hang there, my verse…” by Orlando from As You Like It

If you’re quarantined away from your significant other, or have a new crush, this is the one for you. This speech is fun and full of romance. You can always try the Orlando Challenge! Write poems for your beloved and staple them to trees around town! Hey, you have nothing but time right? Might as well crack open that Poet’s Lexicon for words that rhyme with Rosalind. 

Get it Here

“I will tell you why….” by Hamlet from Hamlet

If you’re exasperated by college kids still spring breaking out on crowded beaches, or people packed in bars, or in cramped clubs, then Hamlet’s angst will really resonate with you. Now more than ever checking the news and seeing people out and about will make you understand the, “what a piece of work is man” line.

Get it Here

 “What’s he that wishes so?” (St. Crispin’s Day)…. by Henry V from Henry V

Everyone could use a rally the troops speech about now. Since we’re all socially isolated with our few and hopefully happy few despite the circumstances. It’s nice to think of your roommates, family, or friends as your band of brothers combatting this pandemic together every time you wash your hands. 

Get it Here

“What fire is in mine ears ….” by Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing

This speech is perfectly twenty seconds for hand washing! If you just overheard on a Zoom call that your crush has the hots for you, there’s no better speech for the occasion. It’s funny, heartfelt, and full of much needed joy in this time.

Get it Here

 “I will go wash…” by Coriolanus from Coriolanus

Everybody can take a little inspiration from Coriolanus here and start washing. This speech has a lot of fun words in it like Corioli and Aufidius to keep you entertained as you clean. Challenge yourself to try and do this one in one breath and you’ll really understand the freedom he longs for by the end.

Get it Here

“It is my only suit…” by Jacques from As You Like It

We could all use a little cleansing of the infected world right now. Jacques’ underdone and underrated monologue is a good one to master while washing your hands every day. His hypocritical waxing wise and clever comedy make this a joy to read aloud again and again over the sink.

Get it Here

Rose Helsinger is a playwright and author studying Creative Writing at Florida State University. She is currently working toward her undergraduate thesis on Shakespeare and Adultery. Her one-act, Between Mars and Me, is available for purchase from YouthPlays