Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest pieces of literature in history. The play has been performed for centuries now, and it’s easy to see why. William Shakespeare created one of the greatest, dramatic romances we’ve ever known, and it’s inner-workings have been a favorite among actors since it first graced the stage.
If you’re an actor looking for the best Romeo and Juliet monologues to test and hone your dramatic skills, you’re in luck. Below you will find a list of the very best Romeo and Juliet monologues for men and women; for any skill level and background.
1. Act III, Scene 2: Juliet
In this scene, Juliet and the nurse are in the Capulet’s orchard. The monologue begins at line 1821, with “Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?” Juliet and the nurse are discussing the recent altercation between Romeo, her sweetheart, and Tybalt. Romeo has just slain Tybalt and Romeo has fled. Juliet is rightfully distraught over the situation and feels torn between her family and her love.
Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name,
When I, thy three-hours wife, have mangled it?
This particular monologue is fairly long, with 30 lines, but your skill-set is sure to show if you can master the raw emotion displayed by Juliet. The female part shows a dramatic, emotional side of Juliet, whose heart is hurting. While she is upset over the loss of her family member, she cannot tear herself away from the love she feels for Romeo. This particular monologue is emotional, but also full of love.
2. Act II, Scene 2: Romeo
Again in the Capulet’s orchard, but in a much more happier setting, this powerful monologue is the perfect display of Romeo’s love for Juliet. Romeo has fallen completely in-love with Juliet and he doesn’t care who knows it. It begins at the very start of the scene and is not extremely long. And even though it isn’t incredibly long, it is extremely intense and full of romance.
If you can master this monologue, your audience may never forget you. It is one of the more memorable Romeo and Juliet monologues, and it’s easy to see why. There is a softness and vulnerability in Romeo during this scene that almost everyone can relate to. He compares his love to the stars, a bird’s song, and even heaven.
3. Act II, Scene 4: Mercutio
During this scene, Mercutio describes Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, in an amazing monologue. Mercutio is one of the most loved characters in Shakespeare’s work, with a quick and witty tongue. After Tybalt has sent a letter to Romeo’s family as a challenge, characters are discussing it with Mercutio. When asked what is so special about Tybalt, he begins a lengthy, but descriptive monologue.
Shakespeare always has a way of adding a tad of comedic drama in even the most serious of situations. It makes each scene more and more relatable to the audience. Mercutio’s obvious admiration for Tybalt and disdain for Romeo is both serious and laughable. It’s one of the fastest-paced Romeo and Juliet monologues, but sure to delight any audience.
4. Act I, Scene 1: Romeo
“This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh?,” is what Romeo is declaring to Benvolio in this early scene. Beginning on line 161, Romeo shows the audience his distress over his recent rejection. Rosaline has recently broken Romeo’s heart and feels as though he is a failure at romance. He is determined that his heart will never be the same again from this rejection. Little does he know that shortly he will be meeting his love, Juliet.
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.Dost thou not laugh?
BENVOLIONo, coz, I rather weep.
This monologue is short and easy-to-learn. It’s a great read for a young male to help hone your classical skills. While it still has the classic, romantic theme of the entire play, this particular monologue is also humorous and playful.
5. Act II, Scene 2: Juliet
This is quite arguably one of the most memorable Romeo and Juliet monologues in the entire play. During this scene, Juliet professes her love for Romeo. She believes she is alone in her room, but unbeknownst to her, Romeo is underneath her window and within ear-shot. As she speaks honestly about her love for Romeo, she is also wrought with a feeling of betrayal against her family. She questions why their families should matter in the first place.
The monologue is a beautiful part for any female actress. Even though it appears long, it slips easily off the tongue and is surprisingly easy to memorize. Audiences cannot help but want to listen to Juliet’s beautiful speech, and be entirely sympathetic to her plight.
6. Act I, Scene 5: Romeo
When once Romeo thought he would never love again, he is re-inspired in this beautiful scene. Romeo crashes a party of his family’s sworn enemy, the Capulets, with his friends. He has disguised himself and as he is hidden away, he spots Juliet for the first time. He is instantly infatuated with her; absolutely taken by her beauty.
As he gazes upon Juliet from afar, he makes a private declaration of his new-found love. And as he is taken by Juliet’s beauty, he unknowingly begins the personal feud between himself Tybalt, who notices a stranger amongst his family. His sudden moment of pure love has become one of the purest and sweetest Romeo and Juliet monologues. It is quick and short but loaded with raw emotion and romance.
7. Act III, Scene 1: Benvolio
Although Benvolio plays a mostly supportive role as one of Romeo’s closest confidants, he takes a moment to shine during this tragic scene. “Tybalt here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay,” answered Benvolio when the Prince asks him who began the bloody fight. He describes the fight in a serious, emotional, and pleading monologue.
Tybalt here slain, whom Romeo’s hand did slay.Romeo, that spoke him fair, bade him bethinkHow nice the quarrel was and urged withalYour high displeasure. All this utteredWith gentle breath, calm look, knees humbly bowed…
This monologue is fairly lengthy, starting at line 114 of the scene and ending with line 137, but it can show your audience a controlled, emotional side. While he must not lie, he also feels adamant about protecting Romeo, who was only defending himself. He is visibly upset and it is a great way to connect with the audience.
8. Act IV, Scene 3: Juliet
On line 14 of the scene, Juliet has reached her last bit of desperation. This is one of the lengthiest Romeo and Juliet monologues, but also one of the most emotional and memorable. Any actress that can master this monologue, with the correct emotion, sadness, and determination, will have their audience in tears. Juliet loves Romeo so much that she is willing to do anything so that they can be together.
Come, vial. (holds out the vial)What if this mixture do not work at all?Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?No, no. This shall forbid it. Lie thou there.
“Come, vial. What if this mixture do no work at all?“She has decided to trust in the friar’s plan to fake her own death. By taking this poison, she could fake her death and wake-up in the tomb to Romeo waiting for her. This is a life-and-death situation, and Juliet does take it lightly. In a determined, strong monologue she overcomes her fear and chooses the love of Romeo over everything else.
9. Act I, Scene 1: Prince Escalus
Towards the end of this beginning scene, Prince Escalus comes to break up a fight between the Capulets and the Montagues. This fight takes place between servants of both households. It escalates further until Prince Escalus enters the scene. He is a powerful, noble man, and Prince of Verona. He enters the scene with authority and power, demanding that the men cease.
It is obvious through one of the most fore-boding Romeo and Juliet monologues that the rest of the play will be centered around the unnecessary fighting of these two families. The Prince is fed-up with the fighting and threatens each person with the pain of death, should they continue. The monologue itself is not too long and should be fairly easy to learn. It’s a great monologue for beginner’s wanting to stretch their classical wings.
10. Act II, Scene 5: Juliet
In the Capulet’s orchard, Juliet is frustrated and talking to the audience in another dramatic monologue. This is the place where Romeo and Juliet first professed their love for one another. It is here that she anxiously awaits for her nurse to return. Her nurse has been charged to meet Romeo and act as a messenger, so the two can elope and be free of their families.
Romeo has convinced the Friar to marry them and Juliet is beside herself with anxiety, fear, and anticipation. While she paces in her orchard, waiting for the nurse, she is wondering why it is taking so long for the nurse to return. This monologue is great for females looking to show their sensitive, romantic sides.
Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest literary and theatre works in history, and learning monologues from the play is a sure-fire way to hone your skills. These Romeo and Juliet monologues above are sure to leave any audience inspired and sympathetic to the plight of these two star-crossed lovers. Which monologue inspires you the most?
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