Shakespeare Monologues | Female
Shakespeare Monologues for woman.
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ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
HELENA: I confess Here on my knee before high heaven and you, That before you, and next unto high heaven, I love your son. My friends were poor but honest; so's my love. Be not offended, for it hurts not him That he is loved of me. I follow him not By any token of presumptuous suit, Nor would I have him till I do deserve him; Yet never know how that desert should be. I know I love in vain, strive against hope; Yet in this captious and intensible sieve I still pour in the waters of my love And lack not to lose still. Thus, Indian-like, Religious in mine error, I adore The sun that looks upon his worshipper But knows of him no more. My dearest madam, Let not your hate encounter with my love, For loving where you do; but if yourself, Whose agèd honor cites a virtuous youth, Did ever in so true a flame of liking, Wish chastely and love dearly, that your Dian Was both herself and Love, O, then give pity To her whose state is such that cannot choose But lend and give where she is sure to lose; That seeks not to find that her search implies, But, riddle-like, lives sweetly where she dies.
AS YOU LIKE IT
I would not by thy executioner. I fly thee, for I would not injure thee. Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye: 'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things, Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
Should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers. Now I do frown on thee with all my heart, And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee. Now counterfeit to swound; why, not fall down; Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame, Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers. Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee; Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains Some scar of it; lean upon a rush, The cicatrice and capable impressure Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes, Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not, Nor I am sure there is no force in eyes That can do hurt.
AS YOU LIKE IT
Think not I love him, though I ask for him; 'Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well. But what care I for words? Yet words do well When he that speaks them pleases those that hear. It is a pretty youth; not very pretty; But sure he's proud; and yet his pride becomes him. He'll make a proper man. The best thing in him Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue Did make offense, his eye did heal it up. He is not very tall; yet for his year's he's tall. His leg is but so so; and yet 'tis well. There was a pretty redness in his lip, A little riper and more lusty red Than that mixed in his cheek; 'twas just the difference Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask. There be some women, Silvius, had they marked him In parcels as I did, would have gone near To fall in love with him; but, for my part, I love him not nor hate him not; and yet I have more cause to hate him than to love him; For what had he to do to chide at me? He said mine eyes were black and my hair black; And, now I am rememb'red, scorned at me. I marvel why I answered not again. But that's all one; omittance is no quittance. I'll write to him a very taunting letter, And thou shalt bear it. Wilt thou, Silvius?
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown. Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects; I am not Adriana, nor thy wife. The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow That never words were music to thine ear, That never object pleasing in thine eye, That never touch well welcome to thy hand, That never meat sweet-savored in thy taste, Unless I spake, or looked, or touched, or carved to thee. How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it, That thou art then estrangèd from thyself? Thyself I call it, being strange to me, That, undividable, incorporate, Am better than thy dear self's better part. Ah, do not tear away thyself from me! For know, my love, as easy mayst thou fall A drop of water in the breaking gulf, And take unmingled thence that drop again Without addition of diminishing, As take from me thyself and not me too. How dearly would it touch thee to the quick, Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious, And that this body, consecrate to thee, By ruffian lust should be contaminate! Wouldst thou not spit at me, and spurn at me, And hurl the name of husband in my face, And tear the stained skin off my harlot-brow, And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring, And break it with a deep-divorcing vow? I know thou canst, and therefore see thou do it. I am possessed with an adulterate blot; My blood is mingled with the crime of lust. For if we two be one, and thou play false, I do digest the poison of thy flesh, Being strumpeted by thy contagion. Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed; I live disdained, thou undishonorèd.
You are too absolute; Though therein you can never be too noble, But when extremities speak. I have heard you say, Honor and policy, like unsevered friends, I' th' war do grow together. Grant that, and tell me, In peace what each of them by th' other lose, That they combine not there. If it be honor in your wars to seem The same you are not, -- which, for your best ends, You adopt your policy -- how is it less or worse, That it shall hold companionship in peace With honor, as in war; since that to both It stands in like request? It lies on you to speak To th' people, not by your own instruction, Nor by th' matter which your heart prompts you, But with such words that are but roted in Your tongue, though but bastards and syllables Of no allowance to your bosom's truth. Now, this no more dishonors you at all Than to take in a town with gentle words, Which else would put you to your fortune and The hazard of much blood. I would dissemble with my nature where My fortunes and my friends at stake required I should do so in honor. I am in this Your wife, your son, these senators, the nobles; And you will rather show our general louts How you can frown than spend a fawn upon 'em, For the inheritance of their loves and safeguard Of what that want might ruin. I prithee now, my son, Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand; And thus far having stretched it, -- here be with them -- Thy knee bussing the stones, -- for in such business Action is eloquence, and the eyes of th' ignorant More learned than the ears -- waving thy head, Which, often thus correcting thy stout heart, Now humble as the ripest mulberry That will not hold the handling; or say to them Thou art their soldier, and being bred in broils Hast not the soft way which, thou dost confess, Were fit for thee to use as they to claim, In asking their good loves; but thou wilt frame
Thyself, forsooth, hereafter theirs, so far As thou hast power and person. Go and be ruled; although I know thou hadst rather Follow thine enemy in a fiery gulf Than flatter him in a bower.
O, no more, no more! You have said you will not grant us anything; For we have nothing else to ask but that Which you deny already; yet we will ask, That, if you fail in our request, the blame May hang upon your hardness. Think with thyself How more unfortunate than all living women Are we come hither; since that thy sight, which should Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts, Constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow, Making the mother, wife, and child to see The son, the husband, and the father tearing His country's bowels out. And to poor we Thine enmity's most capital. Thou barr'st us Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort That all but we enjoy. For how can we, Alas, how can we for our country pray, Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory, Whereto we are bound? Alack, or we must lose The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person, Our comfort in the country. We must find An evident calamity, though we had Our wish which side should win. For either thou Must as a foreign recreant be led With manacles through our streets, or else Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin, And bear the palm for having bravely shed Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son, I purpose not to wait on fortune till These wars determine. If I cannot persuade thee Rather to show a noble grace to both parts Than seek the end of one, thou shalt no sooner March to assault thy country than to tread-- Trust to 't, thou shalt not -- on thy mother's womb That brought thee to this world.
HENRY IV, PART I
O my good lord, why are you thus alone? For what offense have I this fortnight been A banished woman from my Harry's bed? Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep? Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth, And start so often when thou sit'st alone? Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks And given my treasures and my rights of thee To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy? In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watched, And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars, Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed, Cry 'Courage! to the field!' And thou hast talked Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents, Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets, Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin, Of prisoners' ransom, and of soldiers slain, And all the currents of a heady fight. Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war, And thus hath so bestirred thee in thy sleep, That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow Like bubbles in a late-disturbèd stream, And in thy face strange motions have appeared, Such as we see when men restrain their breath On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are these? Some heavy business hath my lord in hand, And I must know it, else he loves me not.
KING HENRY VI, PART II
Can you not see? or will ye not observe The strangeness of his altered countenance? With what a majesty he bears himself, How insolent of late he is become, How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself? We know the time since he was mild and affable, And if we did but glance a far-off look, Immediately he was upon his knee, That all the court admired him for submission;
But meet him now and, be it in the morn, When every one will give the time of day, He knits his brow and shows an angry eye And passeth by with stiff unbowèd knee, Disdaining duty that to us belongs. Small curs are not regarded when they grin, But great men tremble when the lion roars, And Humphrey is no little man in England. First note that he is near you in descent, And should you fall, he is the next will mount. Me seemeth then it is no policy, Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears And his advantage following your decease, That he should come about your royal person Or be admitted to your highness' council. By flattery hath he won the commons' heart; And when he please to make commotion, 'Tis to be feared they all will follow him. Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted. Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden And choke the herbs for want of husbandry. The reverent care I bear unto my lord Made me collect these dangers in the duke. If it be fond, call it a woman's fear; Which fear if better reasons can supplant, I will subscribe and say I wronged the duke. My Lord of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York, Reprove my allegation if you can, Or else conclude my words effectual.
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