“Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!” Audition Monologues for A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Written by Ashleigh Gardner
May 9, 2018
If you’ve got an audition coming up for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, check out these perfect audition monologues from The Bard’s other works!
Auditioning for Hermia
The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Julia
Verona. The garden of Julia’s house. Julia, the beloved of Proteus, who has several other suitors, receives a love letter from him which she impetuously tears up. But once her maid Lucetta leaves, she lovingly tries to piece the letter back together. She is a willful and headstrong young woman, but is plagued with a decision of who or how to love. This emotion is new to her.
The Comedy of Errors – Luciana
Ephesus; the home of Adriana. Luciana, Adriana’s sister, is being pursued by whom she thinks is Antipholus, Adriana’s husband. In truth, it is Antipholus’s long lost twin brother, also named Antipholus. He is trying to seduce her, and she, thinking this is her sister’s husband, shames him for making advances upon her.
Auditioning for Helena
Love’s Labor’s Lost – Rosalind
Navarre. The King’s park. The princess and her hand-maidens are talking in the princess’s quarters about their lovers who have sent the girls gifts. Rosalind, whose lover is Berowne, has departed unexpectedly so that he will not have to marry Rosalind. Here, she feels sorry for herself and imagines what she would make him do for abandoning her.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Julia
Julia, a young gentlewoman, and her friend and servant, Lucetta, are talking about leaving Verona to go to Milan and visit Proteus, Julia’s beloved. Lucetta doesn’t want to go because she says the journey is long and difficult, and she tells Julia to “qualify the fire’s extreme rage” (to temper Julia’s lust and desire for Proteus). Julia responds by saying that every time Lucetta tries to quell her feelings for Proteus, they only become stronger.
Auditioning for Lysander
As You Like It – Orlando
Forest of Arden. Orlando enters with a poem in hand. He has been hanging his verse to Rosalind on every tree in the forest. As he does so with this one, he speaks the poem out loud for all to hear.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona – Proteus
Before Proteus leaves Verona to attend college in Milan, he exchanges rings with his love, Julia, promising to remember and love her while he’s away at university. When he meets Silvia, the beautiful daughter of the Duke of Milan, he forgets Julia, and selfishly begins to pursue a relationship with Silvia. In this monologue, he has just been introduced to Silvia by Valentine, his best friend. Valentine intends to woo and marry Silvia, but after Proteus meets her, he devises a plot to steal her from Valentine. Proteus is stricken with a crazed passion, and he compares his feelings to different temperatures: a cold ice for his best friend and a fiery lust for Silvia.
Auditioning for Demetrius
Love’s Labor’s Lost – Berowne
Navarre, Spain. The King’s park. Berowne, who has forsworn his pact to avoid all women in favor of contemplation and academic study, falls madly in love with the bewitching Rosaline. He has just given the clown Costard a letter to deliver to her, declaring his passion. He is totally overwhelmed by his change of feeling, hence the long 12-syllable line at the beginning.
Get the Monologue Here
Love’s Labor’s Lost – Don Armado
Navarre, Spain. The King’s park. Don Armado, a comic and fantastical Spanish knight, confesses that he loves the country wench Jaquenetta. Pangs of love force him to speak this prose soliloquy. He imagines love as a duel and speaks of it like an opponent. However, once he is affected by love, his words begin to flow freely.
Auditioning for Titania or Hippolyta
Much Ado About Nothing – Beatrice
Beatrice, at the masque being held by her uncle, jokes about finding a husband. She speaks to her uncle and his guests, and even though she has a hidden love for Benedick, she rails on the male sex.
Twelfth Night – Olivia
Viola, dressed as a boy, has been sent to deliver a letter (written by Duke Orsino) to Olivia, a beautiful and eligible woman. Duke Orsino is in love with Olivia, but Olivia does not share his affection. Instead, as Viola (dressed as a boy) tells Olivia of Duke Orsino’s love, Olivia falls in love with Viola. This monologue takes place immediately after Viola leaves. Olivia is so taken with the boy that she is confused and bewildered.
Auditioning for Oberon or Theseus
The Taming of the Shrew – Petruchio
Petruchio wishes to marry Katherina (“Kate”) against her will at the request of her father, Baptista Minola. (Kate’s younger sister Bianca cannot marry until Kate has married first, and Bianca, being the favorite of her family, gets what she wants.) Petruchio is a jokester and treats Kate with disrespect. He teases her, berates her headstrong personality, and makes sarcastic jibes about her appearance all in an effort to get her to lighten up a little bit. But Kate. Hates. Petruchio. In this monologue, Petruchio has come to woo Kate, and after a battle of wits with her, sarcastically tells her how much he “likes” her, using dry humor to confuse her opinion of him.
The Tempest – Prospero
Prospero’s island; Before Prospero’s cell. Prospero has just made a fanciful masque appear and disappear for the delight of Miranda and Ferdinand. Then he becomes agitated by the thought of Caliban. To regain composure, he gives this speech.
Auditioning for Puck and the Fairies
As You Like It – Rosalind
The forest of Arden. Orlando has fallen in love with the lovely Rosalind, but only through description. Rosalind, disguised as a boy, Ganymede, has befriended Orlando, and s/he promises to deliver Rosalind to Orlando. Here, Rosalind as Ganymede jokes with Orlando about Orlando’s brother, Oliver, and Rosalind’s cousin, Celia, falling in love, but the speech takes a more serious angle when Rosalind sees that Orlando is doubtful of whether he’ll ever marry Rosalind. She promises he will see her the next day.
Henry V – Boy
France; Battle of Harfleur; a boy, servant to the three buffoons Nym, Bardolph, and Pistol, stops to address the audience. This is a moment of comic relief from the fighting.
Auditioning for The Mechanicals
Much Ado About Nothing – Dogberry
Constable Dogberry and his partner, Virges, have arrested Borachio and Conrad for being the cause of a ruined wedding. Dogberry, a passionate, bumbling, and misspoken man, is a good police officer, but his way of doing things doesn’t quite line up with procedure. He’s also not that great with vocabulary. In this monologue, Dogberry rolls up his sleeves, extremely upset and offended, after Borachio has called him an “ass” for apprehending him. (Keep in mind that Dogberry is sensitive and proud of his job, and that’s why he’s so upset to be called an “ass.” His overreaching anger makes this monologue all the more hysterical.)
Henry IV, Part I – Prince Hal
The Boar’s-Head Tavern, Eastcheap. Early in the play, Prince Harry (Hal) spends him time in taverns and bars, making friends with the commoners and drinking his youth away. He has renounced the court and enjoys his fame in the bar scene. In this monologue, he muses on the good times he has had, and is currently having, drunk in a tavern.
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