“O Heaven, Were Man but Constant, He Were Perfect”: Audition Monologues for Two Gentlemen of Verona
Written by Ashleigh Gardner
August 28, 2018
Auditioning for Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona soon? Check out these amazing monologues chosen specifically for every character.
Auditioning for Proteus
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Demetrius
In a wood near Athens. In this monologue, Demetrius professes his love for Helena after he had previously loved Hermia. Theseus and his hunting party (including Helena’s father, Egeus) have encountered the lovers in the forest after a night of confusion fueled by Oberon and Puck. Theseus and Egeus demand to know why the young people are so far away from the city at such an early hour. Demetrius explains his intention for following the Helena, Lysander, and Hermia into the forest, and he admits that his love for Hermia has vanished. His love for Helena has returned, and he will honor this love for the rest of their lives.
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.
Auditioning for Valentine
The Comedy of Errors – Antipholus of Syracuse
Unbeknownst to them, two brothers are separated at birth, one sent to Syracuse and one to Ephesus. By chance, they are both named “Antipholus”, as are both their servants named “Dromio”. When Antipholus of Syracuse finds his way to the home of his long-lost brother, he meets Luciana, his brother’s sister-in-law. He showers affection on her, enraptured by her beauty. Luciana rejects him, thinking that Antipholus of Syracuse is her sister’s husband, Antipholus of Ephesus, and she accuses him of cheating on his wife. This monologue is a hysterical profession of love and adoration in the face of stern rejection.
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.
Auditioning for Julia
The Merchant of Venice – Portia
Portia is describing to Nerissa how successful they will be disguised as men. They will, of course, think Portia the more attractive of the two, and she tells of the many lies she will tell about their imaginary escapades. Portia insists that no one will question if she and Nerissa are they men they claim to be.
As You Like It – Phebe
The Forest of Arden; Having just been rebuked by Rosalind, dressed as the male youth Ganymede, the saucy shepherdess Phebe becomes infatuated with her/him. She speaks of the youth to the shepherd Silvius.
Auditioning for Silvia
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. The quotes (‘Above my fortunes…’) at the beginning is a statement Viola has said to Olivia in their conversation.
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.
Auditioning for Lucetta
The Merry Wives of Windsor – Mistress Quickly
Town of Windsor; before Master Page’s house; John Falstaff has sent Mistress Page and Mistress Ford letters declaring his love for love. This is all a plan to seal their husbands’ money. The women see through this, and with the help of Mistress Quickly, they trick him into being jealous of their husbands and the many imaginary “suitors” that have come to see them. Here, Mistress Quickly tells Falstaff of these suitors and makes him jealous.
The Merry Wives of Windsor – Mistress Page
Town of Windsor; before Master Page’s house; John Falstaff has sent Mistress Page and Mistress Ford letters declaring his love for love. This is all a plan to seal their husbands’ money. Here, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford laugh over how identical the letters are and posit that he has hundreds of letters that he simply writes names upon in blank spaces.
Auditioning for Launce, Speed, or Panthino
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.)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bottom
The wood near Athens at dawn. Nick Bottom, the weaver, awakes after a mad night of romance as an ass. He has been restored to his rude, physical self. Still in a drowsy state, he muses on his “dream,” after calling for his friends. He is a loudmouth that suddenly stops to consider his experience.
Auditioning for Duke of Milan or Antonio
The Tempest – Prospero
Illyria; Olivia’s garden. Sebastian, the twin brother of Viola (who looks just like him when dressed as the boy Cesario), has just met and will soon marry the Lady Olivia, who mistakes him for Cesario. In a daze, Sebastian steps from Olivia’s house and delivers this speech in amazement. He tests his senses to make sure they are in good working order.
All’s Well That Ends Well – King of France
The King’s palace. Bertram has come to Paris to replace his father as attendant to the King of France. Upon their first meeting, the King muses over the history he had with Bertram’s father, remembering their times as soldiers and how humble he was. The King does not believe the same remarkable traits have found their way through the family tree to Bertram.
Auditioning for Thurio
All’s Well That Ends Well – Parolles
Roussillon (France). Bertram’s palace. Helena, a chaste gentlewoman, asks the braggart Captain Parolles, a confidant of her love, Bertram, why men are such enemies of virginity and how women can guard against their assault. Parolles answers with this discourse. He utilizes various sexual puns throughout the conversation which add to the comedy of the piece.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Lysander
Lysander, a young, handsome gentleman of Athens, loves Hermia, and Hermia loves him. Hermia’s father Egeus, demands that Hermia marries Demetrius, a worthy and rich gentleman. Lysander, so in love with Hermia and desperate to win her hand, makes a case for marrying her. Here, he makes fun of Egeus and Demetrius before professing that he is the worthier man for Hermia to marry.
Auditioning for Eglamour
The Merchant of Venice – Lorenzo
Lorenzo sits with his wife Jessica outside, enjoying the moonlight and the musicians who appear to play music. She wants nothing to do with the serenade.
As You Like It – Touchstone
Forest of Arden. Touchstone comes before the Duke Senior and Jaques, asking to be married to Audrey. He introduces himself as a fool, yet he has accomplished much. Jaques is very apprehensive of this man, but the Duke takes to him, asking about how Touchstone almost got into a fight, but did not upon reaching the seventh cause. Touchstone then goes into his own dissertation on logic and rules of arguing.
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