Best Monologues

Bernice

Bernice

Published: 18 Oct 2021

best monologues, man performing monologue

The best monologues stick to you regardless of whether you relate to what they’re saying or not. It could be the portrayal of the actor or actress, or maybe the way the tears choked them up. Famous monologues have become timeless. The best drama movies often have your favorite movie monologues, with lessons humanity can never forget. It could be an angry monologue filled with purpose and conviction, or sometimes even a dramatic monologue that can twist a knife inside your heart. It’s possible that you came looking for monologues to feel these things. 

If you’re looking for acting scripts, it’s common to use monologues from movies. Short monologues or one-minute monologues are the best to use when looking for monologue scripts. Acting lines to practice out give the best auditions. Regardless of your reasons, talking about monologues isn’t as good as introducing the best monologues out there. So here’s a list of the 30 best monologues in history. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Best Monologues of Actors

Charlie Chaplin – The Great Dictator’s finale

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone.”

Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator, best monologues
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

One of the most memorable monologues that stands the test of time is Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. Dramatic monologues for men are easy to find. But if you’re looking into hearing motivational speeches, you can’t go wrong with The Great Dictator. The movie was made in 1940. Chaplin played two opposite roles: Adenoid Hynkel, a horrible dictator, and a Jewish Barber.

The monologue tries to push humanity to move into working together rather than follow machine-thinking leaders. This last speech of the Great Dictator has become relevant even in modern society. Corrupt leaders still exist today and as such the message remains important.

Dead Poets Society – What’s Your Verse?

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.”

Robin Williams has become an iconic actor. He is remembered for many roles during his life. One of the most notable monologues is his lecture in Dead Poets Society. He teaches the boys the reason to live rather than the way to stay alive. 

It’s a coming-of-age movie about John Keating and his students. John focuses on the children to fulfill their lives with excitement. The famous “carpe diem” was used in the film constantly. The movie inspires many youths to pursue their genuine passion and their purpose in life. However, it also teaches parents to trust in their children’s dreams rather than controlling their future.

A Few Good Men – You can’t handle the truth!

“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You?”

It’s a harsh world we live in, and nothing’s harsher than defending the front lines. Nicholson’s speech throws off Cruise’s character by a milestone easily. His performance was of controlled rage. While Cruise’s character was defending the lives lost, Nicholson’s character prioritized the lives saved.

The monologue was set in a courthouse with Jessup (Nicholson) defending himself against Kaffee (Cruise). The speech portrays itself as more of a lecture towards Kaffee. Jessup is not afraid to admit that the consequences of his actions lost lives, but saved many more. It’s a very militaristic mindset that only a few can actually stick to. It’s one of the best movie monologues of all time.

Joker – Talk Show Monologue

“Have you seen what it’s like out there, Murray? Do you ever actually leave this studio? Everybody just yells and screams at each other.”

Joker is easily one of the top performances by Joaquin Phoenix. The collapse of a good-hearted man and turning into a psychotic clown was a performance that boosted the DC Cinematic Universe. 

In this monologue, the tragic emergence of Joker’s psychotic breakdown comes to play. Joaquin casually confesses his disgust for bad people. His lack of good jokes takes him to a different side of anger. Becoming cynical, he murders people. He confesses on live TV and insists that comedy is subjective. His monologue makes you run towards a big speech about societal norms.

Hannibal – Meeting Clarice

“You know what you look like to me with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste.”

The most iconic role of Anthony Hopkins is Hannibal. His intense presence, added with his commanding figure, makes him a frightening antagonist. Hannibal is a cannibal who works together with a police officer named Clarice to find a man kidnapping women. While Anthony’s way of invading personal space is thanks to the cinematographer, you can’t deny the intense eye contact he has mastered. His tone and way of pronunciation give off a predator-like tone.

Upon meeting Clarice, he observes her intensely. He judges her experiences, personality, family background, and even how she emotionally feels. This allows the portrayal of Hannibal Lecter’s first impression to become an intimidating man, making him a strong and smart hunter.

Game of Thrones – Tyrion’s Confession

” I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you.”

Tyrion’s confession is an amazing performance. He is one of the most beloved Game of Thrones characters out there. Thanks to the way he breathed life into the frustrations of Tyrion, the actor who plays him, Peter Dinklage, has become an award-winning actor.

In this monologue, Tyrion confesses to his hatred for the citadel. He snaps after his lover, Shae, beds his father and testifies against him in a trial. Tyrion’s feelings were overwhelmed. With the world against him simply because he was a dwarf, Tyrion demanded a trial by combat because he believed the gods were a better judge of character. 

Best Monologues of Actresses

Hidden Figures – There’s no bathroom for me here.

“There is no bathroom. There are no colored bathrooms in this building. Or any building outside the West Campus, which is half a mile away. Did you know that? “

hidden figures movie, best monologues
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Hidden Figures is a movie written about the black women that worked in NASA during the time of racial profiling and sexism. It’s a historical movie that features a monologue between a boss and his employee. Katherine Johnson finally explodes since it didn’t even cross her mostly male co-workers that she is a black female that is struggling to survive in the middle of social injustice while making historical achievements.

It’s a very dramatic monologue, but also makes it even more satisfying. Taraji Henson spoke well in her monologue for Katherine Johnson, exploding everything she felt despite holding it in for so long.

Little Women (2019) – Jo’s I want to be loved

“I care more to be loved. I want to be loved.”

Jo March is one of the main protagonists of Little Women. She is portrayed by Saoirse Ronan in the 2019 version. In this scene, Jo admits she is tired of women being treated differently. She stresses women are capable but are only seen as objects of affection. Speaking honestly from the heart, she admits the loneliness.

Despite all the frustrations she feels regarding the purpose of women, Jo wishes to be loved. This does not mean that all women were only born to love men, but it means that humans were made to love. Jo, despite her striking independence, is still human. It offers a glimpse into the reality that people deserve to be cared for without being treated as tools.

Stoker – Mother and Daughter Conversation

“You know, I’ve often wondered why it is we have children.”

Nicole Kidman portrays Evelyn Stoker. While Mia’s character, India Stoker, has always been odd, Evelyn’s words struck hard. Evelyn admits to wanting India’s birth to become a symbol of chance and hope for both her and her husband. She admits to selfishly forcing India to achieve the things she could not do.

She also admits that she does not love India. The final blow was her admitting that she waits for the day her daughter is thrown into desperation because of life’s cruel twist. It’s even sadder that Evelyn, despite admitting that she does not love India, demands India to answer why she did not seem to love her mother. 

Girl, Interrupted – Lisa’s Bullying

“Help me understand, Daisy. Because I thought you didn’t do Valium. Tell me how this safety net is working for you.”

Angelina Jolie’s stunning performance with the disturbed character named Lisa is no joke. She makes Susanna (Winona Ryder’s character) entranced by her rebellious nature. Lisa believes it is better to resist the medication and therapy, despite being severely anorexic.

The monologue Lisa is famously known for is when she confronts Daisy regarding the sexual abuse she has from her father. Lisa is provoked by Daisy, who was released and given a chance at a normal life. While Lisa is a violent person, this was one scene that provoked hostility and cost Daisy’s life.

Cruella – I’m not like her. I’m better.

“I guess you were always scared. Weren’t you? That I’d be a psycho.”

Cruella was originally an antagonist in 101 Dalmatians. She was a cruel and psychotic fashion designer who was obsessed with dalmatian coats. The original film devoted itself to animal cruelty. Cruella, however, devoted itself to Cruella’s beginnings.

Once she discovers the origin of her birth, Cruella returns to a regent park. She talks to her mother often there. It is then she goes, truly accepting who she is. She is not sweet. She is a complexity of brave and bold. It is the performance of Emma Stone that really brought Cruella to life. The duality of Cruella’s personality reflected heavily around it. That she may be cruel, but she will always love her mother.

Fences – 18 Years

“I took all my feelings, my wants and needs and dreams, and I buried them inside”

Dramatic movies like Fences often shed the reality many try to ignore. Many marriages fall apart. Viola Davis’ character Rose stood her ground, though. Sadly, she snaps during one of her husband’s violent remarks. He has been focusing on the sadness he’s been experiencing for eighteen years. He tries to explain this to his wife but is ultimately cut off.

Of course, she knows. She’s been by his side this entire time. Her hopes of happiness and faith in her husband had long since died out. It comes as a shock to the violent Troy. He grips onto Rose’s arms harshly and is intervened when their son attacks him for physically abusing his mother.

Best Monologues for Kids

Finding Nemo – Dory’s pleading

“Please don’t go away. Please?”

finding demo, dory monologue
Image source: Flickr

In her speech, Dory begs Marlin to stay with her. Disney monologues often give us a sense of hope and inspiration. In this heartbreaking scene, Dory guts your heart out with the cracks in her voice as she pleads for Marlin to stay.

Marlin assumes his only son has died. Because of this, he has lost all hope. Dory asks why they must separate. As for a fish with short-term memory loss, Dory feels she can easily remember things when Marlin is around. She believes he is her home and fears that if he leaves, she will forget him. 

Treasure Planet – Captain Silver’s speech

“You got the makings of greatness in you, but you got to take the helm and chart your own course. Stick to it, no matter the squalls!”

For children’s monologues, it’s best to give uplifting ones. Captain Silver’s attempt to cheer up the beaten-down Jim Hawkins in Treasure Planet is nothing short of inspiring. It remains an iconic speech despite being released in 2002, and flopping, compared to other Disney movies.

Captain Silver is a swashbuckling cyborg pirate who tries to take Jim under his wing. He begins to deeply care for the troubled boy and inspires him to see the best in himself. For many children, Captain Silver is a father on the animated screen.

Zootopia – Hopp’s Final monologue

“When I was a kid, I thought Zootopia was this perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything.”

The film itself received critically acclaimed rewards. Zootopia challenged the nurturing of discrimination against others. The heavy topic of racism that the world still suffers from was molded perfectly to help children understand that the concept itself was wrong. Hopp’s final monologue is the ideal realization all viewers should reach out to. It’s a problem that cannot change if one doesn’t start with themselves.

Kung Fu Panda – Oogway’s present

“You are too concerned with what was and what will be.”

Kung Fu Panda’s Oogway is the embodiment of wisdom. His most famous lines came from his speech to Panda, who he comforts on a hilltop. His wise words about being focused on the present have been passed down to many children.

It’s the magnificent voice acting, which also helps viewers feel as if they’re truly talking to a wise old man and not watching an old turtle giving life advice on the panda.

Ratatouille – Anton Ego’s Speech

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment.”

Anton Ego was the final stepping stone for Remy’s goal to become a realized chef. Anton’s cruel and critical behavior is the fear of every restaurant in France. So it amazed many readers that despite Gusteau’s passing, Anton still favors the restaurant. 

Even after seeing the truth about the restaurant, Anton leaves to contemplate. He finally accepts that talent can be found in many places. It’s a pretty adult topic to discuss and is amazingly portrayed well in a children’s movie.

Lilo & Stitch – This is my family.

“This is my family. I found it all on my own.”

The destructive alien would rather laugh and throw random grunts here and there. Still, when he speaks, it matters. As Stitch was about to be sent back into space, he proudly claims that he has found his family on Earth.

The Galactic Federation felt the change in Stitch at that very moment. He was once merciless and violent. However, upon meeting Lilo and Nani, he had cooled down. He was loved and proud of the family he belongs to.

Best Monologues for Teens

Perks of Being a Wallflower – Charlie’s Last Letter

“I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters because I might be too busy trying to participate. So if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school and you helped me.”

Logan Lerman, Perks of Being a Wallflower press conference
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Perks of Being a Wallflower is the first thing that comes to our minds when it comes to teenagers’ dramatic monologues. When hearing Charlie’s soft-spoken voice explain to the audience that he enjoys the feeling of not being a victim, the drama really kicks in.

Logan Lerman’s portrayal of Charlie helped execute the hopeful but shy wallflower who sends messages, hoping to cope with his past. Thankfully, Charlie grows. He cherishes himself and his friends, making his step into adulthood even more meaningful.

Easy A – Brandon Begging Olive

“Who’s going to believe me? You don’t understand how hard it is. I’m tormented.”

Brandon is one of those memorable characters in Easy A that actually has little screen time, but gave a large impact in the story. Brandon is gay and for high school, it’s difficult being gay.

When Olive figures out a way to just lie to everyone until she leaves for college, Brandon wants in. Unlike Olive’s other “clients”, Brandon was doing it to prevent himself from tiring out. The speech he gives her tells you how tired it must be to be bullied for being in love with men. He is aware of the change he’ll have once he goes to college, but being beaten up is causing a mental strain in him. 

Stuck In Love – Rooftop Conversation

“There are two kinds of people in this world: hopeless romantics and realists.”

Lily Collins’ character, Sam, gives her younger brother advice. She discusses the two types of men in life: realists and hopeless romantics. Her cynical speech holds tones of logic and aversion to anything love-related. 

While Sam gets better over time, this conversation allows you to see the problems that can occur in a broken household. Convicted, Sam’s opinion stems from a series of past events. This helps you see an insight into Sam’s nature, making it a subtle but meaningful monologue.

Love, Rosie – Wedding Speech

“Choosing the person that you want to share your life with is one of the most important decisions any of us makes ever.”

Love, Rosie is that frustrating will they or won’t they spin around in an angst-filled movie. It’s about love and its unconditional presence. It was in her wedding speech that her best friend realizes their feelings for one another.

It’s almost a tragic ending, but despite the tragedy, Rosie remains steadfast in loving him from a distance just as he always has. She declares pure love for him and this breaks both his and her heart. Especially since he realizes she does not remember an event that altered the course of their love.

Hazel Grace Eulogy – The Fault in Our Stars

“Hello. My name is Hazel Grace Lancaster. And Augustus Waters was the star-crossed love of my life.”

Hazel Grace’s eulogy for Augustus Waters was more of a thank you rather than a tearful goodbye. The once cynical girl found love and adventure with Waters and despite the outcomes of their lives, Hazel feels blessed.

The short time they had together meant more to her than anything. The experiences they had and the qualities they gave her changed her forever. She thanks him, despite the tears and sadness. It’s bittersweet and innocent, helping you see that people with cancer aren’t just people with cancer. They’re truly more than their illness.

Harry Potter – Neville’s Speech

“People die every day. Friends. Family. Yeah. We lost Harry tonight.”

A dramatic monologue, like Neville’s speech, in the last movie of the Harry Potter franchise isn’t easy to do. But because of the background of Neville’s character, makes it even more impressive. Neville speaks with Lord Voldemort himself, defending freedom from his tyranny, and willingly places himself in front of one of the most powerful wizards in the world.

Voldemort initially scoffs at his attempt to be a hero, but even he could tell the change in Neville’s character. 

Best Monologues from Plays

Hamlet – To be or not to be.

“To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles.”

to be or not to be, Hamlet, statue
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s one of the most overused monologues that remains popular today. It is a dialogue of reflection regarding the choices one must make. While it is still famous and often repeated, the monologue remains important to many youthful troubles. 

A fun fact about this monologue is that it’s been used even in cartoons. Lion King was even based on the play.

Goodbye Charles – It’s terrible being nice.

“Don’t ask me to marry you. Shh, shh, shh. Don’t say another word. Just listen. “

Comedic monologues for women like this one makes plays more colorful. The fear of being involved with someone who makes you have a pleasant personality is odd and even funny to hear. Still, it all depends on the actress whether the ability to perform it can affect the audience greatly.

Lacey’s Last Chance – Serial Dater

“My father was a wonderful man who waited on me hand and foot when I was a child.”

It’s more of a morbid comedic female monologue. She confesses she grows tired of her husband, who calls her selfish and prefers to kill him rather than change her ways. Given to the right actress, it’s definitely sitcom-worthy. 

The Seagull – Treplev regarding his mother

“She is vexed at the idea of Nina Zarétchnaya and not herself having a success even in this poor little theatre. She is a psychological curiosity, my mother.”

A very detailed monologue about a character, Treplev describes to the audience the complexity of his mother’s personality. He talks about her insecurity and obsession for success in theater. His mother is not necessarily a wicked woman in his perspective. He actually speaks of her superstitious nature and her tears being shallow.

Fear and Misery of the Third Reich – Jewish Wife

“Yes, I’m packing. Don’t pretend you haven’t noticed anything the last few days. Nothing really matters, Fritz, except just one thing: if we spend our last hour together without looking at each other’s eyes.”

It’s a bitter monologue. A determined wife who refused to let her husband be shunned because of her origins, leaves their household. It’s heartbreaking to see how hard she must become at the expense of others. It is also a sacrifice she’s willing to make for the good of her husband.

The Tempest – Act II Scene 2

“I hope all the diseases that breed in swamps and marshes infect Prospero, inch by inch, until he’s nothing but a walking disease!”

Played over numerous times, The Tempest is an old tale written by Shakespeare himself. However, it remains filled with colorful dialogue. Just like many Shakespeare works, The Tempest is a great place to find the best monologues for men. Caliban’s monologue is a perfect example. You can easily show the frustration and anger built around his experiences with Prospero.

Conclusion

Whether you prefer short comedy monologues, dramatic monologues for men, or dramatic monologues for women, it’s fair to say that there’s a lot you can work with. Every sentence has a purpose, and it’s up to the artist whether they can portray that purpose traditionally, or something different altogether.