This monologue from As You Like It is a classic! It’s funny, clever and a really strong choice for auditions. What I love about it is how contemporary it feels. Phoebe, sounds like every stroppy, spoilt teenager EVER! Rosalind (dressed up as Ganymede) has basically just insulted Phoebe, and now Phoebe is in wrestling with her mixed feelings of indignation and lust. Like every young lover she wants what she can’t have!
Original Text from Phoebe Act 3 Scene 5
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 offence, his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall, yet for his years 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 remembered, 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?
Peevish: Silly, Foolish
Damask: light-red, pink [colour of the damask rose]
Omittance: something that’s been omitted.