Two Gentlemen of Verona Monologues

Written by on | Monologues For Actors Shakespeare

Today we’re going to take a look at some monologues from The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Many consider The Two Gentlemen of Verona to be Shakespeare’s first play, most likely written sometime around 1589-1593 (but more likely than not it’s on the earlier side). We see in this Shakespearean comedy, Shakespeare dipping his toes into the proverbial pool of his most common themes of his early plays: romance, heartbreak, and betrayal (and of course wearing other people’s clothes). These are some of the best monologues from The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Let’s take look!

Two Gentlemen of Verona Monologues

Julia (Act IV Scene iv)

How many women would do such a message?
Alas, poor Proteus! thou hast entertain’d
A fox to be the shepherd of thy lambs.
Alas, poor fool! why do I pity him
That with his very heart despiseth me?
Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
Because I love him I must pity him.
This ring I gave him when he parted from me,
To bind him to remember my good will;
And now am I, unhappy messenger,
To plead for that which I would not obtain,
To carry that which I would have refused,
To praise his faith which I would have dispraised.
I am my master’s true-confirmed love;
But cannot be true servant to my master,
Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
Yet will I woo for him, but yet so coldly
As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.

Launce (Act II Scene iii)

Nay, ’twill be this hour ere I have done weeping. All the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial’s court. I think Crab, my dog, be the sourest-natured dog that lives: my mother weeping; my father wailing; my sister crying; our maid howling; our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great 600 perplexity; yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog. A Jew would have wept to have seen our parting. Why, my grandam, having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I’ll show you the manner of it. This shoe is my father. No, this left shoe is my father; no, no, this left shoe is my mother; nay, that cannot be so neither. Yes, it is so, it is so: it hath the worser sole. This shoe with the hole in it is my mother; and this my father. A vengeance on’t, there ’tis. Now, sit, this staff is my sister; for, look you, she is as white as a lily, and as small as a wand. This hat is Nan, our maid. I am the dog. No, the dog is himself, and I am the dog. O, the dog is me, and I am myself. Ay; so, so. Now come I to my father: ‘Father, your blessing.’ Now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping; now should I kiss my father; well, he weeps on; now come I to my mother. O that she could speak now like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her. Why, there ’tis: here’s my mother’s breath up and down. Now come I to my sister: mark the moan she makes. Now the dog all this while sheds not a tear; nor speaks a word; but see how I lay the dust with my tears.

Julia (Act I Scene ii)

Nay, would I were so anger’d with the same!
O hateful hands, to tear such loving words;
Injurious wasps, to feed on such sweet honey,
And kill the bees that yield it, with your stings!
I’ll kiss each several paper for amends.
Look, here is writ ‘kind Julia.’ Unkind Julia!
As in revenge of thy ingratitude,
I throw thy name against the bruising stones,
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain.
And here is writ ‘love-wounded Proteus’.
Poor wounded name: my bosom, as a bed,
Shall lodge thee till thy wound be thoroughly heal’d;
And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss.
But twice, or thrice, was ‘Proteus’ written down:
Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away,
Till I have found each letter, in the letter,
Except mine own name: that some whirlwind bear
Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock,
And throw it thence into the raging sea.
Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ:
‘Poor forlorn Proteus’, ‘passionate Proteus’.
‘To the sweet Julia’: that I’ll tear away.
And yet I will not, sith so prettily
He couples it to his complaining names.
Thus will I fold them one on another:
Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will.

Valentine (Act III Scene i)

And why not death, rather than living torment?
To die is to be banished from myself,
And Silvia is myself. Banished from her
Is self from self: a deadly banishment.
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale.
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
There is no day for me to look upon.
She is my essence, and I leave to be
If I be not by her fair influence
Fostered, illumined, cherished, kept alive.
I fly not death to fly his deadly doom:
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But fly I hence, I fly away from life.

Proteus (Act II Scene iv)

And why not death, rather than living torment?
To die is to be banished from myself,
And Silvia is myself. Banished from her
Is self from self: a deadly banishment.
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
Unless it be to think that she is by
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.
Except I be by Silvia in the night,
There is no music in the nightingale.
Unless I look on Silvia in the day,
There is no day for me to look upon.
She is my essence, and I leave to be
If I be not by her fair influence
Fostered, illumined, cherished, kept alive.
I fly not death to fly his deadly doom:
Tarry I here, I but attend on death;
But fly I hence, I fly away from life.

Conclusion

So there you have it! StageMilk’s favourite Two Gentlemen of Verona monologues. If you’re interested in using any of these for an audition remember, you should always do your best to read the play, have a clear understanding of the relationships and as always know what your character wants in the scene. Whether you’re an actor searching for an audition piece, or just a Shakespeare aficionado, we hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best Two Gentlemen of Verona Monologues.


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About the Author

StageMilk Team

StageMilk Team is made up of professional actors and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew, Alex, Luke, Jake, Indiana, Patrick and more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

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