What Are the Most Over Done Shakespeare Monologues for Drama School Auditions?

The Most Over Done Shakespeare Monologues for Drama School Auditions


First of all, thanks for coming to the blog to read this. Most of you will have come here to this blog to see which Shakespeare Monologues to AVOID.

I want to tell you something really important right off. As an expert in Drama School Audition Coaching - I know that you want to be original. You want to choose something that isn't the same as all the rest. The trouble is - particularly for women, there's often not that much choice. 

Okay, the guys have it easier, but the girls - you're stuck with a limited amount of choices. 

But in my professional opinion, it’s not about choosing an original speech from Shakespeare. It’s about doing something original with that speech.

Think about that again. It's not about finding an original speech - it's about doing something original with your choice of speech. 

Because...frankly, If the female auditionees avoided the most overdone Shakespeare Monologues for women - they’d have no bloody speeches to perform!

So forget about whether or not it’s been overdone, okay?

The most popular speech are popular because they are GOOD.  Here’s the 7 most popular FEMALE Shakespeare Monologues…

  1. Lady Percy Act 2 Scene 3 Lines 9-45 "O yet, for God's sake..." from Henry IV Part Two

  2. Rosalind Act 3 Scene 5 Lines 35-63 "And why, I pray..." from As You Like It

  3. Viola Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 18-42 “I left no ring with her" from Twelfth Night

  4. Emilia Act 4 Scene 3 Lines 87-104 "But I do think it is their husbands'" from Othello

  5. Julia Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 105-129 "O hateful hands" from Two Gentlemen of Verona

  6. Portia Act 2 Scene 1 Lines 237-302 "Y'have ungently, Brutus" from Julius Caesar

  7. Hermione Act 3 Scene 2 Lines 92-117 "Sir, spare your threats" from The Winter's Tale

And here’s the 7 most popular MALE Shakespeare Monologues

  1. Edmund Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 1-22 "Thou Nature..." from King Lear

  2. Launcelot Gobbo Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 1-32 "Certainly my conscience" from The Merchant of Venice

  3. Cassius Act 1 Scene 2 Lines 90-131 “I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus" from Julius Caesar

  4. Macbeth Act 2 Scene 1 Lines 33-65 "Is this a dagger" from Macbeth

  5. Romeo Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 2-32 "But soft!” from Romeo and Juliet

  6. Puck Act 3 Scene 2 Lines 6-34 "My mistress with a monster" from A Midsummer Night's Dream

  7. Romeo Act 3 Scene 3 Line 29 “Tis Torture and Not Mercy” from Romeo and Juliet

So listen up. These are GOOD speeches. And you can make them GREAT speeches in performance. I know all these speeches well, because HUNDREDS of my clients have done them with me at my studio or via Skype from places as far as Australia, Holland, California, Canada and Japan.

The contemporary speech is where you can be original in your choice. The classical speech needs you to bring alive 400 year old poetry. So, there’s no shame in choosing one of these GREAT speeches as your starting point.

To You, The Best


Mark Westbrook is the Course Leader of the One Year Diploma in Stage and Screen Acting at Acting Coach Scotland.

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