37 Must-Try Monologues for Men

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Photo Source: Seacia Pavao/Focus Features/FX/David Lee/Netflix/Niko Tavernise

From the torment of Antigonus’ dilemma in “The Winter’s Tale” to the chaotic hilarity of David Rose attempting to leave a voicemail for his crush on “Schitt’s Creek,” monologues for men cover the emotional gamut and can be found in a variety of sources. If you’re a male actor who has become stuck in the hunt for the best monologue for you, never fear—we did the work so you don’t have to.  

Here, you’ll find 37 monologues, from classical to contemporary, that can help you nail your next audition.


Shakespeare monologues

Acting coach Erin Roth recommends that when searching for a Shakespeare monologue, “find one that resonates with you deeply.” To help you in your search, Roth has chosen six of the Bard’s best monologues for men:

1. “Hamlet”: Act 1, Scene 2: Hamlet
“O, that this too too sullied flesh would melt”

“This monologue is a beautiful example of the power words hold in Shakespeare’s plays. As he speaks, Hamlet begins to understand that something is amiss and confirms the depth of his emotions. As much as he resists admitting that what the ghost told him might be true, once he airs his suspicions out loud, he can no longer ignore them.”

2. “The Winter’s Tale”: Act 3, Scene 3: Antigonus
“Come, poor babe”

“What happens when a leader asks a person to perform an inhumane, soul-wrenching task? Leontes, the King of Sicily, orders one of his lords, Antigonus, to leave a newborn baby, Perdita, in the wild to die. Not only that, but he threatens to kill Antigonus and his wife, Paulina, if he doesn’t do as he asks.”

3. “Richard III”: Act 1, Scene 2: Richard III
“Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?”

“This history play is a stunning portrait of a sociopath…. This monologue is a rare moment of change for Richard, as he has what he believes is a revelation: If Anne thinks he’s a ‘proper man,’ then maybe he isn’t as ugly and misshapen as he thought.” 

4. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: Act 1, Scene 1: Egeus
“Full of vexation come I, with complaint”

“Egeus brings his daughter, Hermia, before Theseus, the Duke of Athens. He’s also brought along her intended husband, Demetrius, and the man she loves, Lysander. In order to force Hermia to marry Demetrius, Egeus invokes an ancient Athenian law dictating that if she doesn’t do as he wishes, he has the right to kill her.”

5. “The Merchant of Venice”: Act 3, Scene 2: Bassiano
“So may the outward shows be least themselves”

“The stakes are high: Even though [Bassanio’s] deep in debt, he’s determined to woo the wealthy Portia; what’s more, he’s roped his best friend, Antonio, into his predicament. In order to win Portia’s hand, Bassanio must choose correctly among three caskets. If he picks the wrong one, he has vowed never to marry.”

6. “Hamlet”: Act 3, Scene 3: Claudius
“O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven”

“Determined to prove that his uncle really did murder the king, Hamlet arranges for a troupe of actors to perform a play in court that enacts a story mirroring Claudius’ own: killing his brother, marrying his widow, and assuming the throne. Overcome with guilt, Claudius flees the performance and talks through his guilt and fear: If he prays, will God forgive him for his sins?”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Television monologues


“Ozark” Courtesy Netflix

Talent manager Corey Ralston knows that searching for a monologue can be exhausting. He says, “Considering monologues from TV shows will open up an entire world of audition material.” Here’s his list of fantastic television monologues for men. (Some you might want to shorten and/or contain curses you might want to remove.) 

1. “Black Mirror” (Season 1, Episode 2): Bing
“The sheer desperation of this monologue makes it compelling and powerful.” 

2. “Ozark” (Season 3, Episode 9): Ben Davis
“This haunting flashback with the fan-favorite character Ben Davis, acted impeccably by Tom Pelphry, is almost certainly going in the books as one of the greatest character speeches from television.” 

3. “The Newsroom” (Season 1, Episode 1): Will McAvoy
“This is dialogue with a purpose and grabs attention in a powerful, thought-provoking way. It provides an actor with an opportunity to command the room.”

4. “The Bear” (Season 2, Episode 10): Carmy Berzatto
In this poignant scene, Carmy explains his feelings of sacrifice and tempered excitement to a therapy group. Lean into your delivery of “there is always another shoe” to really make an emotional impact.

You can learn more about the previous monologues here!

Disney movie monologues

Actor Robert Peterpaul knows “there’s a reason why Disney tales are as old as time”—that’s why he’s rounded up some of the best Disney movie monologues! Here are six magical Disney picks for men.

1. “A Bug’s Life” (1998): Hopper
“Sure, he might have been a little grasshopper, but ask any ’90s kid and they’ll tell you how frightening Hopper was! This hateful monologue has all the ingredients of a sinister speech.” 

2. “Ratatouille” (2007): Anton Ego
“Anton Ego plays a critical role in this Pixar classic, giving a satisfying and poetic ending monologue to the story.”

3. “Up” (2009): Charles Muntz
“Spoiler alert! Muntz takes quite a menacing turn in this uplifting film. Check out his big villain speech, detailing his transgressions.” 

4. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996): Claude Frollo
“If you’re looking to send chills up the spine, head down to Notre Dame and channel this treacherous judge.”

5. “The Incredibles” (2004): Buddy Pine
“ ‘You sly dog! You got me monologuing!’ exclaims Buddy after delivering, well, a monologue. It’s pretty super!” 

6. “Saving Mr. Banks” (2013): Walt Disney
“You can play the man that started it all! Walt Disney (performed by Tom Hanks) has a wonderful monologue that’s fertile ground to explore!”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Classical monologues

Writer Laurence Cook says, “Picking a classical audition speech is a minefield.” Plenty of classical monologues are often overused. Who knows how many times the casting directors you’re trying to impress have heard that piece? Luckily, here are some more unique classical monologues from theater you can choose from.

1. “A Woman Killed With Kindness” by Thomas Heywood: Wendoll’s seductive soliloquy
“The stakes are sky-high: Wendoll’s soul is in danger, and the comedy comes from truly committing to the tactics for forgetting Anne—and then giving up just as forcefully.”

2. “A Woman Killed With Kindness” by Thomas Heywood: Wendoll’s self-discovery
“This speech is an opportunity to show both sides of Wendoll. He’s obsessed with his own crimes and has fled to the woods to hide from the people he’s wronged.” 

3. “The Duchess of Malfi” by John Webster: Ferdinand’s regret
“Ferdinand is standing over the bodies of his sister and two young nephews whom he ordered to be murdered. His servant Bosola hired goons to strangle the Duchess and her children, but on seeing the dead bodies, Ferdinand wishes Bosola had not followed his orders or might have intervened to save their lives.”

4. “The Honest Whore” by Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton: Hippolito in mourning
“There are many ways to play the speech…. [Hippolito] might be unmoved by [Bellafront’s] tears, he could come to the realization that she’s as miserable as he is and want to offer comfort, or he could be punishing her further by suggesting that she’s not supposed to have emotions in her line of work.” 

5. “Edward II” by Christopher Marlowe: Gaveston’s letter of love
“Gaveston is the young favorite of the newly throned King Edward. He’s bold, witty…and disliked by almost everyone except Edward, with Marlowe suggesting the pair have a homoerotic relationship. He talks to the audience, or perhaps to the imagined King.”

Learn more about these monologues here!

Contemporary monologues

Cook is also aware that “there’s a wealth of choices” for contemporary monologues for men—so, how do you pick the one that’s right for you? Here are some great alternative contemporary monologues from theater to get you started. 

1. “Pomona” by Alistair McDowall: Charlie
“The ultimate overshare. On a first read, Charlie’s monologue might sound childish and gratuitous, but remember that it comes from a play that isn’t what it appears and has encouraged contradictory interpretations.”

2. “Narrative” by Anthony Neilson: Brian
“From the master of plays made in the rehearsal room, ‘Narrative’ is a deceptive piece full of vignettes and strange goings-on. Here, Brian confronts his partner over their inability to love and realizes that there is no way forward for them as a couple.”

3. “Cock” by Mike Bartlett: John
“Short and sweet, this moment from ‘Cock’ sees John confronted by two people in his life, a long-time male partner and a woman he’s fallen for…. He’s spent his whole life defined by other people, from the impressions of people on TV to what clothes he wears. Now he’s confronted with making a decision no one else can help him with.”

4. “Wink” by Phoebe Eclair-Powell: Mark
“The play is made up of monologues from Mark and a teacher, which cover connecting events. The choice here then is to either pick a character to deliver the speech towards, or to keep it in the form of a monologue.”

Learn more about these monologues here!

Movie monologues


“Moonlight” Courtesy A24

Ralston knows that modern movie monologues have great potential. Finding the right one for you might be tricky, but don’t worry! Ralston has rounded up some great movie monologues for men to consider.

1. “Moonlight” (2016): Juan
“Choosing this monologue can give you a refreshing piece to show natural film acting style ability. It’s a thoughtful moment that takes sensitivity and heart. A real treat to watch as it feels utterly truthful, warm, and accepting.”

2. “Skyfall” (2012): Silva
“This monologue can give an actor a vehicle to own the room with humor wrapped in confident evil manipulation. Playing the psychotic side of a character is a fun and rewarding challenge for an actor. It’s sure to impress on many levels.” 

3. “The Lighthouse” (2019): Thomas Wake
“I feel stage-trained actors will be drawn to this piece as it allows for a larger-than-life performance but comes to you from a modern film and an acclaimed performance from Willem Dafoe as inspiration. Wear the madness and make your mark with this speech.”

4. “Da 5 Bloods” (2020): Stormin’ Norman
“An actor who wants to show power in cultural identity will want to take a stab at this piece. There is plenty of opportunity to get undivided attention by taking advantage of motivational silence and strong intention with persuasive words. The piece is a beautiful display of camaraderie and power instilling encouragement.” 

5. “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013): Jordan Belfort
“An actor using this speech needs to tap into the sheer testosterone and 1980s machismo to rally this room of men to do his bidding. The language is strong but warranted and even comically entertaining with the amount of gusto behind every curse word and pejorative.”

6. “Joker” (2019): The Joker
“Writing like this and a character as complex as the Joker is a jackpot for an actor. It requires some deep character work and empathy-building to play someone this atrocious. Remember, a villain can never be judged by the actor. The actor must find the commonality and justifications for the actions, no matter how inherently heinous. This is a challenge, and if delivered well, with your own spin, it will be a showcase for character development.”

7. “The Holdovers” (2023): Paul Hunham
This quietly moving monologue explores intergenerational connection and self-awareness—all with a comedic bent. Use the final lines, spoken by Paul Giamatti with great precision, to really drive home the sentiment: “History is not simply the study of the past—it is an explanation of the present.”

Learn more about the previous monologues here!

Comedic monologues

According to Peterpaul, “There’s nothing humorous about trying to find a comedic monologue.” That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great choices out there though, and it doesn’t have to be a tough process. Here, Peterpaul has rounded up some of the best comedic monologues to help you succeed!

1. “Schitt’s Creek” (television): David Rose
“One standout is when David leaves a hilarious heap of voicemails for future boyfriend Patrick about his plans for the general store. There are several other instances within the episode that could be cobbled together for a comedic piece.”

2. “New Girl” (television): Winston Bishop
“If you’re looking for some sitcom silliness, this show is ripe for the picking. In the first season, Lamorne Morris’ Winston delivers an epic Saturday morning rant after his roommates and their friends wake him up too early.” 

3. “Unbearable Hotness” (theater) by Gabrielle Davis: Brandon
“This one-act comedic play is chock-full of juicy and explicit monologues. One of the funniest is when Brandon details how he may have accidentally just pushed Chuck off the roof of the house party. It starts with: ‘I just fuckin’ killed Chuck.’ ”

4. “City Slickers” (film): Mitch Robbins
“If you’re looking for a midlife crisis ramble, ‘City Slickers’ is a good option…. Things plummet down a darkly funny path as [Mitch] details the horrors of growing old.”

5. “Palm Springs” (film): Nyles
“The acclaimed 2020 flick charmed audiences and could help you charm people on the other side of the table. Nyles (Andy Samberg) bookends the film with a duo of memorable monologues.”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

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