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Monologues

Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen



OSWALD (20-30):
Ah, the joy of life, mother; that's a thing you don't know much about in these parts. I have never felt it
here.... And then, too, the joy of work. At bottom, it's the same thing. But that too you know nothing
about.... Here people are brought up to believe that work is a curse and a punishment for sin, and that
life is something miserable, something we want to be done with, the sooner the better.... Have you
noticed that everything I have painted has turned upon the joy of life? always, always upon the joy of
life? -- light and sunshine and glorious air, and faces radiant with happiness? That is why I am afraid of
remaining at home with you.

MRS. ALVING: Oswald, you spoke of the joy of life; and at that word a new light burst for me over my life
and all it has contained.... You ought to have known your father when he was a young lieutenant. He
was brimming over with the joy of life!... He had not object in life, but only an official position. He had
no work into which he could throw himself heart and soul; he had only business. He had not a single
comrade that knew what the joy of life meant -- only loafers and boon companions--... So that happened
which was sure to happen.... Oswald, my dear boy; has it shaken you very much?

OSWALD: Of course it came upon me as a great surprise, but, after all, it can't matter much to me.

MRS. ALVING: Can't matter! That your father was so infinitely miserable!

OSWALD: Of course I can pity him as I would anybody else; but--

MRS. ALVING: Nothing more? Your own father!

OSWALD: Oh, there! "Father," "father"! I never knew anything of father. I don't remember anything
about him except -- that he once made me sick.


A Dolls House by Henrik Ibsen

TORVALD (30-45):
(Standing at Noras doorway.) Try and calm yourself, and make your mind easy again, my frightened
little singing-bird. Be at rest, and feel secure; I have broad wings to shelter you under. (Walks up and
down by the door.) How warm and cozy our home is, Nora. Here is shelter for you; here I will protect
you like a hunted dove that I have saved from a hawk's claws; I will bring peace to your poor beating
heart. It will come, little by little, Nora, believe me. Tomorrow morning you will look upon it all quite
differently; soon everything will be just as it was before.

Very soon you won't need me to assure you that I have forgiven you; you will yourself feel the certainty
that I have done so. Can you suppose I should ever think of such a thing as repudiating you, or even
reproaching you? You have no idea what a true man's heart is like, Nora. There is something so
indescribably sweet and satisfying, to a man, in the knowledge that he has forgiven his wifeforgiven
her freely, and with all his heart. It seems as if that had made her, as it were, doubly his own; he has
given her a new life, so to speak; and she is in a way become both wife and child to him.

So you shall be for me after this, my little scared, helpless darling. Have no anxiety about anything, Nora;
only be frank and open with me, and I will serve as will and conscience both to you. What is this? Not
gone to bed? Have you changed your things?

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

TROFIMOV (18-29):
All Russia is our orchard. The earth is broad and beautiful. There are many marvelous places.

Think for a moment, Anya: your grandfather, your great-grandfather all your forebears they were the
masters of serfs. They owned living souls. Cant you see human faces, looking out at you from behind
every tree-trunk in the orchard from every leaf and every cherry? Cant you hear their voices? The
possession of living souls its changed something deep in all of you, hasnt it. So that your mother and
you and your uncle dont even notice youre living on credit, at the expense of others at the expense
of people you dont allow past the front hall Were two hundred years behind the times at least. We
still have nothing no properly defined attitude to the past. We just philosophise away, and complain
about our boredom or drink vodka. But its only too clear that to start living in the present we have to
redeem our past we have to break with it. And it can be redeemed only by suffering, only by the most
unheard-of, unceasing labour. You must understand that, Anya.

Throw the keys down the well, and go. Be free as the wind.

Have faith in me, Anya! Have faith in me! Im not thirty yet Im young Im still a student but Ive
borne so much already! Every winter Im hungry, sick and fearful, as poor as a beggar. And the places
Ive been to! The places where fate has driven me! And all the time, at every minute of the day and
night, my soul has been filled with premonitions I cant explain or describe. I have a premonition of
happiness, Anya. I can just see it now.

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov

TREPLEV (25):
She loves me she loves me notShe loves me she loves me not Loves me, loves me not. (laughs)
There you are she doesnt love me. Well, of course she doesnt. She wants to live and love and dress in
light colours, and there am I, twenty-five years old, perpetually reminding her that shes stopped being
young. When Im not there shes thirty-two when I am shes forty-three; and thats why she hates me.
Then again I dont acknowledge the theatre. She loves the theatre she thinks shes serving humanity
and the sacred cause of art, whereas in my view the modern theatre is an anthology of stereotypes and
received ideas. When the curtain goes up, and there, in a room with three walls lit by artificial lighting
because its always evening, these great artists, these high priests in the temple of art, demonstrate how
people eat and drink, how they love and walk about and wear their suits; when out of these banal
scenes and trite words they attempt to extract a moral some small and simple moral with a hundred
household uses; when under a thousand different disguises they keep serving me up the same old thing,
the same old thing, the same old thing then I run and dont stop running, just as Maupassant ran from
the sight of the Eiffel Tower, that weighed on his brain with its sheer vulgarity. What we need are new
artistic forms. And if we dont get new forms it would be better if we had nothing at all.

The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov

ANDREI (20-30):
Oh, what has become of my past and where is it? I used to be young, happy, clever, I used to be able to
think and frame clever ideas, the present and the future seemed to me full of hope. Why do we almost
before we have begun to live, become dull, gray, uninteresting, lazy, apathetic, useless, unhappy?... This
town has already been in existence for two hundred years and it has a hundred thousand inhabitants,
not one of whom is in any way different from the others. There has never been, now or at any other
time, a single leader of men, a single scholar, an artist, a man of even the slightest eminence who might
arouse envy or a passionate desire to be emulated. They only eat, drink, sleep, and then they die more
people are born and also eat, drink, sleep, and so as not to become half-witted out of sheer boredom,
they try to make life many-sided with their beastly back-biting, vodka, cards, and litigation. The wives
deceive their husbands, and the husbands lie, and pretend they see nothing and hear nothing, and the
evil influence irresistibly oppresses the children and the divine spark in them is extinguished, and they
become just as pitiful corpses and just as much like one another as their fathers and mothers

Hay Fever by Noel Coward

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs by William Inge boyish monologue

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