41 Great Monologues for Men

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Are you a male actor who has become stuck in the hunt for the best monologue for you? Trying to find a range of options that you can consider? Our Backstage Experts and writers know how frustrating that search can be! Fortunately, they’ve rounded up some of the very best monologues for men. Here are 41 monologues, from classical to contemporary, so you can find the right one to help you nail your next audition.


Shakespeare Monologues

Backstage Expert and acting coach Erin Roth recommends when searching for a Shakespeare monologue that you “find one that resonates with you deeply.” To help you in your search, Roth has chosen six Shakespeare monologues for you to consider!

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

“This monologue is a beautiful example of the power that speaking holds in Shakespeare’s plays. Speaking brings Hamlet...into understanding that something is amiss and confirms why he is feeling the way he is feeling.”

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

“What happens when we’re tasked with impossible, inhumane, soul-wrenching tasks by our leaders?...Leontes has ordered [Antigonus] to leave a newborn baby out in the wild to die. Not only that, but he threatens to kill both Antigonus and his wife Paulina if Antigonus doesn’t follow his bidding. What would any of us do?”

3. Richard III, “Richard III”: Act I, Scene 2
“Was ever woman in this humor wooed?”

“In Shakespeare’s stunning portrait of a sociopathic tyrant, this monologue is a rare moment of change for Richard III. He has what he thinks is an amazing realization in this monologue: maybe he isn’t as ugly or misshapen as he thought.” 

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

“In this monologue Egeus has brought his daughter Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius before Theseus, the Duke of Athens. Egeus is angry with Hermia because she won’t marry Demetrius, the man he has chosen for her, and instead she chooses Lysander. Egeus invokes the ancient law in Athens that if Hermia doesn’t do as he wishes he can kill her.”

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

“In this monologue the stakes are high. If Bassanio chooses the wrong casket, he has vowed never to get married.”

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

“This monologue happens after Claudius leaves the play, brought into consciousness by watching his own crime committed on stage. Claudius’ thought process and the journey he goes on in this monologue are incredible. Can he pray? Can he be forgiven for his crime?”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Television Monologues

Backstage Expert and talent manager Corey Ralston knows that monologue searches can be exhausting. He says that “considering monologues from TV shows will open up an entire world of audition material.” Here’s a list of fantastic television monologues, that you might want to shorten or might contain curses you want to remove, for men. 

1. “Black Mirror”: Bing’s Speech
“The sheer desperation of this monologue makes it compelling and powerful.” 

2. “Ozark”: The Ben Davis Taxi Monologue
“This haunting flashback with the fan-favorite character of Ben Davis, acted impeccably by Tom Pelphry on ‘Ozark,’ is almost certainly going in the books as one of the greatest character speeches from television.” 

3. “Newsroom”: Will McAvoy’s America is not the Greatest Speech
“This is dialogue with a purpose and grabs attention in a powerful thought-provoking way. It provides an actor with an opportunity to command attention.”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Disney Movie Monologues

Backstage Expert and actor Robert Peterpaul knows thatthere’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 some 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): 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
“ ‘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 here) has a wonderful monologue that’s fertile ground to explore!”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Classical Monologues

Backstage writer Laurence Cook says that 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 commonly used piece? Luckily, here are some more unique classical monologues you can choose from!

1. Wendoll: “A Woman Killed With Kindness” by Thomas Heywood
“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. Wendoll: “A Woman Killed With Kindness” by Thomas Heywood
“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. Ferdinand: “The Duchess of Malfi” by John Webster
“Ferdinand is standing over the bodies of his sister and his two young nephews who 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. Hippolito: “The Honest Whore” by Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton
“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. Gaveston: “Edward II” by Christopher Marlowe
“Gaveston is the young favourite 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

Backstage writer Laurence Cook is aware of the fact that there’s a wealth of choices” for contemporary monologues for men, so how do you pick one that’s right for you and less commonly used? Here are some great alternative contemporary monologues for men. 

1. Charlie: “Pomona” by Alistair McDowall
“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. Brian: “Narrative” by Anthony Neilson
“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. Elliot: “On Love” by Mick Gordon
“Mick Gordon’s brilliant play is a survey of love in all its guises, from the almost-parent in Elliot to a young girl in love with Elvis. Here, Elliot is speaking about his experience of his wife’s pregnancy.” 

4. John: “Cock” by Mike Bartlett     
“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. Exploring the “paralysing indecision that stems from not knowing who one really is,” this speech sees John caught in exactly that trap. 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.”

5. Mark: “Wink” by Phoebe Eclair-Powell
“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

Backstage Expert and talent manager Corey 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”: Mahershala Ali as 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”: Javier Bardem as 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”: Willem Dafoe as 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”: Chadwick Boseman as 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”: Leonardo DiCaprio as 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. “The Joker”: Joaquin Phoenix as 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.”

Learn more about these monologues here!

Dramatic Monologues

Acting coach and Backstage Expert Joanne Baron says that it’s important that monologues “be chosen with an awareness of who the audience is.” Of course, it’s also important to find a piece that feels right for you. Baron has selected some of the very best dramatic monologues for men to consider.

1. “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea” by John Patrick Shanley
“Danny has a brilliant, funny, fresh monologue where he says he has always wanted to be a bride. It’s a terrific dramatic monologue that is surprising and memorable.”

2. “Our Lady Of 121st Street” by Stephen Adly Guirgis
“The character Edwin has a powerful monologue where he brutally chastises his brain-damaged brother, Pinky, for interfering with Edwin’s tentative attempt to strike up a romance with a shy but lovely girl. Edwin profoundly regrets lashing out at his heartbroken brother and ends up calling a caretaker to ensure Pinky gets home safely.” 

3. “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller
“Biff has a powerful, dramatic monologue confiding to his brother Happy. In it, he says he wants to be on a ranch outside with his shirt off but that he can’t ever find happiness knowing his father will disapprove if he isn’t a powerful and wealthy businessman.” 

4. “Ben Is Back” by Peter Hedges
“Ben has a powerful monologue where he tells his mother he’s responsible for the death of his friend who overdosed. He is desperately but unsuccessfully trying to get her to reject and abandon him and to stop trying to save him.”

5. “Lobby Hero” by Kenneth Lonergan
“William is suffering with the profound moral conflict of whether to protect his brother by giving a false alibi to the police, or to leave his brother’s fate to a racist and unjust criminal system. William has a powerful monologue where he seeks advice from the clueless young security guard, Jeff.”

Comedic Monologues

According to Backstage Expert and actor Robert Peterpaul, “there’s nothing funny about attempting 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” (Season 3, Episode 8)
“One standout is when David leaves a hilarious heap of voicemails for 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” (Season 1, Episode 19)
“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” by Gabrielle Davis
“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 f***in’ killed Chuck.’ ’

4. “City Slickers” (Mitch)
“If you’re looking for a mid-life crisis ramble, ‘City Slickers’ has got you covered...Things plummet down a darkly funny path as [Mitch] details the horrors of growing old.”

5. “Palm Springs” (Nyles)
“The acclaimed 2020 flick charmed audiences and could help you charm people on the other side of the table. This one’s a two-for-one special (because why not). Nyles (Andy Samberg) bookends the film with a duo of memorable monologues.”

You can learn more about these monologues here!

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