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52 Effective Short Monologues for Teens 

52 Free Monologues for Teenagers and Kids of All Ages is an effective collection of short monologues for actors in need of audition pieces.

Looking for and finding the right monologue is never an easy task.  MB publishes new monologue material on a daily basis, so you will never run out of options for finding the monologue that best suits your needs.

Some topics include: Dating, forgiveness, friendship, identity, relationships with parents, trust, betrayal, health and more.

Cassanda doesn’t like that her boyfriend seems to have two contradicting personalities.

in friendship trust matters and for this young teenager it matters a great deal.

Two best friends have been growing distant with one another and the reasons become exposed.

Michelle confronts her sister over the drama she always seems to generate within their family unit.

Helena is literally on her own struggling to carve out a life for herself.

Jasmine wants to see her cousin care more about other people and not be so self-absorbed in life.

Jobe has an intense and some would say over the top competitive drive that could be a bad thing if he doesn’t understand a healthy balance.

Tabitha talks to her guidance counselor about her intelligence.

Sally wants to be treated right by her sister and in this monologue she tells her what’s up.

Crystal and her boyfriend have been having issues and in this monologue she talks to him about breaking up.

Chanade doesn’t feel like her life is worth living and she contemplate jumping off a cliff but her best friend shows up to help her.

a monologue about strange thoughts coming alive in the mind.

Clara tries to come together with her sister so that they may get along better rather than arguing all of the time.

Cindy accidentally ran over a squirrel while on her way to her Grandparent’s house.

Lillia catches her boyfriend kissing another girl.

Jesse has struggles at home which cause him to lash out at his girlfriend.  In this monologue he seeks forgiveness from her.

Ronda has to beg, borrow and steal to get her cousin to go out with her and her friends.

Brianna is a young woman who won’t give any guy permission to go any further than she would ever allow when it comes to attraction.

Bella talks to her mother for never being there for her when it comes to following her dreams.

Jesse continually blow all the good things he has going on with his girlfriend because of his own inner demons.

Nina doesn’t go to school because she moves from motel to motel with her father who happens to be a criminal.

Lana has done her friend a favor by allowing her to crash at her place but it turns out to being bittersweet

Fifty-Two Effective Short Monologues for Teens

Rosanna fled home in order to live her own independent life but little does she know her father used to be an outlaw and his best friend is a bounty hunter who finds her.

Alina has been faced with multiple rejection letters from various drama schools.

Beverly tries talking with her mother about how unhappy she is going to school.

Tina is caught in the middle between cutting her record album in the studio or making time for her dying Grandmother.

Jan is hesitant to talk to her sister who always seems to have an attitude but in this monologue she lets her know that she needs to practice being more calm.

Whenever Sally goes over to hang out with her friend she is met with negative energy.

Naomi suffers from depression and anxiety and opens up to her Aunt for help and guidance.

Lenora argues with her sister over the fact that she always seems to be unhappy.

Melanie doesn’t want to feel as low as her boyfriend seems to make her feel about herself.

Taliya does her best to cope with her anger management issues and in this monologue she opens up and seeks help from her Aunt.

Zoe is in love with Ricky, her best friend since childhood and now that they’ve gone to different colleges and Ricky is dating someone, she finds it impossible to be his friend.

Marshall is battling his own identity and when he turns to his father for help he is met with even more misunderstanding.

Shadira opens up to her mother about how she needs her to have her back when it comes to the emotional strain she has juggling her dreams and her chores.

Tiffany admits that somewhere in her life she made a wrong turn and has been trying to get back on track ever since.

Nina simply and desperately wants to be a normal teenager but she can’t be that because her father is a criminal who moves from town to town and Nina has no choice but to tag along.

Melanie is going through an emotional dilemma and struggles to figure out her road to happiness.

Shadira is a gifted figure skater who gets pressure from her family because they don’t seem to recognize or care much about her talent.

Donnie discusses the pain he has suffered from losing his best friend to suicide.

Best Kid Audition Monologues for Young Performers

Pippa Higgins makes new friends from school and introduces them to her dear friend Radford The Talking Rabbit.

Jeffrey talks to his best friend Gesebel about the meaning of life.

Joshua cares for his older brother who has been physically wounded from their violent father.

a monologue that explore a young girl crushing on a boy.

Patrick does not want to confess the truth of being bullied at school.

a monologue about a young boy who doesn’t want his video games being touched.

Noah set free a bird that his friend trapped and was punched in his mouth because of it.

Eon shares the story with his Mother as to why his friend Ryan received a bloody nose.

Charlene is beside herself over the fact that her brother ruined her most favorite posters in the whole wide world.

Toddley is upset with his sister because she is distracting him from his chess study.

J.R. tells his friend how much he wishes he had a cool older brother, too.

Robert acts tough in front of the mirror and has fantasies of being a pro fighter one day.

Annamarie is devastated over the notion that her father never showed up to her school for show and tell day.

Monologues From Plays


Monologue Blogger offers a wide range of monologues from plays. We invite you to our Monologues from Plays Series.

All Monologues from Plays

I. What is a Monologue?

A monologue is a speech given by a single character in a story. In drama, it is the vocalization of a character’s thoughts; in literature, the verbalization. It is traditionally a device used in theater—a speech to be given on stage—but nowadays, its use extends to film and television.

II. Example of a Monologue

A monologue speaks at people, not with people. Many plays and shows involving performers begin with a single character giving a monologue to the audience before the plot or action begins. For example, envision a ringleader at a circus…

Example 1

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls!

Tonight, your faces will glow with wonder

As you witness some of the greatest acts ever seen in the ring!

Beauties and beasts, giants and men, dancers and daredevils

Will perform before your very eyes

Some of the most bold and wondrous stunts

You’ve yet beheld!

Watch, now,

As they face fire and water,

Depths and heights,

Danger and fear…

The ringleader’s speech is directed to the audience. His monologue helps him build anticipation and excitement in his viewers while he foreshadows some of the thrills the performance will contain.

Example 2

A monologue doesn’t have to be at the start or end of a play, show, or movie—on the contrary, they occur all of the time. Imagine a TV series about a group of young friends, and on this episode, one friend has been being a bully. The group is telling jokes about some of the things the bully has done to other kids at school, when one girl interrupts everyone…

You know, I don’t think what you are doing is funny. In fact, I think it is sad. You think you’re cool because you grew faster than some people, and now you can beat them up? What is cool about hurting people? We are all here pretending that you’re a leader, when really, I know that you’re nothing but a mean bully! All this time I’ve been scared to say that, but just now, I realized that I’m not afraid of bullies—so, I won’t be afraid of you!

When a conversation stops and shifts focus to a single character’s speech, it is usually a sign of a monologue. In this situation, a group conversation between friends turns into one girl’s response; a monologue addressing bullying and the bully himself.

III. Types of Monologues

A. Soliloquy

A speech that a character gives to himself—as if no one else is listeningwhich voices his inner thoughts aloud. Basically, a soliloquy captures a character talking to himself at length out loud. Of course, the audience (and sometimes other characters) can hear the speech, but the person talking to himself is unaware of others listening. For example, in comedy, oftentimes a character is pictured giving themselves a lengthy, uplifting speech in the mirror…while a friend is secretly watching them and laughing. The soliloquy is one of the most fundamental dramatic devices used by Shakespeare in his dramas.

B. Dramatic Monologue

A speech that is given directly to the audience or another character. It can be formal or informal, funny or serious; but it is almost always significant in both length and purpose. For example, a scene that captures a president’s speech to a crowd exhibits a dramatic monologue that is both lengthy and important to the story’s plotline. In fact, in TV, theater ,and film, all speeches given by a single character—to an audience, the audience, or even just one character—are dramatic monologues.

C. Internal Monologue

The expression of a character’s thoughts so that the audience can witness (or read, in literature) what is going on inside that character’s mind. It is sometimes (depending on the style in) referred to as “stream-of-consciousness.” In a piece of writing, internal monologues can often be easily identified by italicized blocks of text that express a character’s inner thoughts. On TV and in films, internal monologues are usually spoken in the character’s voice, but without seeing him actually speak; thus giving the feeling of being able to hear his thoughts.


IV. Importance of Monologues

Monologues give the audience and other characters access to what a particular character is thinking, either through a speech or the vocalization of their thoughts. While the purpose of a speech is obvious, the latter is particularly useful for characterization: it aids the audience in developing an idea about what the character is really thinking, which in turn helps (or can later help) explain their previous (or future) actions and behavior.

V. Examples of Monologue in Literature

Example 1

As a technique principally used on the stage (or screen), the best examples of monologues in literature are found in dramatic literature, most notably in Shakespeare’s dramas. Below is selection of arguably the most famous monologue in literature—soliloquy, specifically—from Act III Scene I of the tragedy Hamlet. This soliloquy begins with the well-known words “To be, or not to be- that is the question:”



To be, or not to be- that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die- to sleep.

To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub!

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. There’s the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

This scene reveals to the audience that Hamlet is contemplating suicide. His words express an internal thought process that we would normally not be able to witness. The only reason that Shakespeare has Hamlet speak these words out loud is so that the audience—not anyone else in the play—can hear them. He uses a soliloquy to share Hamlet’s unstable state of mind and disquieting thoughts.

Example 2

In Mark Twain’s short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” the narrator is sent to find a man named Simon Wheeler, who will tell him a story. After the narrator introduces the premise, he explains that he let Wheeler “go on in his own way, and never interrupted him once.” He follows with Wheeler’s story, told in Wheeler’s voice, which he achieves through the shift in the style of speech. Below is a small piece of the story:

There was a feller here once by the name of Jim Smiley, in the winter of ’49—or may be it was the spring of ’50—I don’t recollect exactly, somehow, though what makes me think it was one or the other is because I remember the big flume wasn’t finished when he first came to the camp; but any way he was the curiosest man about always betting on any thing that turned up you ever see, if he could get anybody to bet on the other side; and if he couldn’t, he’d change sides. Any way that suited the other man would suit him—any way just so’s he got a bet, he was satisfied. But still he was lucky, uncommon lucky; he most always come out winner.

Mark Twain was a literary genius when it came to storytelling—he could make the page seem like a stage with the way he used spelling and grammar to bring a character’s accent and personality to life. Wheeler’s story is a dramatic monologue, which Twain used to achieve the feeling of a real storytelling exchange between two people. His employment of this dramatic technique in this short story makes the readers feel like they are hearing Wheeler’s story firsthand.


VI. Examples of Monologue in Pop Culture

Example 1

Oftentimes, a conversation occurs between characters and then shifts to one character giving a significant speech. This is a popular way of inserting a monologue into a scene. In this scene from Season 5 Episode 10 of the TV horror The Walking Dead, the group is talking around the campfire:


Every day he woke up and told himself, ‘Rest in peace; now get up and go to war,’” says Rick. “After a few years of pretending he was dead, he made it out alive. That’s the trick of it, I think. We do what we need to do, and then we get to live. No matter what we find in D.C., I know we’ll be okay. This is how we survive: We tell ourselves that we are the walking dead.

-Rick Grimes

Here, Rick’s monologue begins when the dialogue ceases to be a group discussion. Now he alone is speaking to the group—he is giving a dramatic monologue.

Example 2

In one of the most popular Christmas movies to date, A Christmas Story, the protagonist Ralphie is also the narrator. However, the narration is internal: Ralphie isn’t speaking directly to us, but he is openly letting us in on his thoughts.

Soap | A Christmas Story | TBS

As you’ve now heard in this clip, Ralphie’s voice is that of an adult man, and that’s why the narration style in this film is unique—adult Ralphie is simultaneously reflecting on the past and reenacting present-Ralphie’s thoughts. The mental debate he has about who taught him the curse word and what to tell his mother is an internal monologue: we can hear his thoughts; thus the situation is funnier and more thought provoking.


VIII. Related Terms


An aside is when a character briefly pauses to speak directly to the audience, but no other characters are aware of it. It is very similar to a monologue; however, the primary difference between the two is that an aside is very short; it can be just one word, or a couple of sentences, but it is always brief—monologues are substantial in length. Furthermore, an aside is always said directly to the audience, usually accomplished (in film and television) by looking directly into the camera. As an example, asides are a key part of the style of the Netflix series House of Cards; the main character Francis Underwood often looks directly into the camera and openly addresses the audience as if they are present, while the other characters do not know that the audience exists.


While a monologue is a given by one character (“mono”=single), a dialogue is a conversation that occurs between two or more characters. Monologues and dialogues are similar in that they both deliver language to the audience. For instance, in a movie, a race winner’s speech is a monologue, however, a speech collectively given by several members of a team is dialogue. Both techniques can address the audience, but the difference lies in how many people are speaking.



In conclusion, monologues (and dialogues) are arguably the most fundamental parts of onstage drama and dramatic literature. Without them, essentially only silent film and theater could exist, as monologues provide the only way for the audience to witness a character’s thoughts.

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Monologue Examples in Literature and Film

When you think of the word monologue, you might think of a stand-up comedian's routine, or maybe a late night show host's opening bit. But the literary term monologue typically refers to a speech given by a character in a book, film or stage performance. Keep reading for monologue examples from works of literature and film in which characters express their thoughts and emotions.

Royal Opera's production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello" Royal Opera's production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello"

Monologue Examples From Literature

On the page, monologues are large pieces of dialogue from one character to another character (or characters). But they are much more important than standard pieces of conversation. William Shakespeare's works are well known for their monologues, but you can find these dialogue devices in other plays and novels as well. Explore some prominent examples of monologues from classic literature and works of drama.


When you think of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the title character's famous "To be or not to be" speech may come to mind as a prominent monologue. But this speech is actually a soliloquy — a speech of internal dialogue in which the character (in this case, Hamlet) expresses his inner thoughts to the audience. A monologue involves one character speaking to another.

A better example of a monologue is Polonius' speech to his son, Laertes, before Laertes goes to France. Here, he gives advice for how Laertes should conduct himself overseas.

"Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
And you are stay’d for. There; my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!"

Like most important literary monologues, this speech is important in both content and timing. It reveals the traits that Polonius values and Laertes must uphold, and it marks the last time Laertes will see his father alive.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Puck, the mischievous fairy from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, is delighted to talk about himself. When another fairy identifies him as Robin Goodfellow (his alter ego), he agrees and elaborates in a lofty monologue.

"Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab,
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me.
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And “Tailor!” cries, and falls into a cough,
And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.
But, room, fairy! Here comes Oberon."

Shakespeare's language establishes the whimsy and merriment of Puck's character. It also sets the tone for the comedy to come later in the play.


Desdemona, the center of Othello's world in Shakespeare's Othello, doesn't get many opportunities to assert herself before her untimely end. But in Act I, Desdemona tells her father the news of her marriage and loyalty to Othello.

"My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty:
To you I am bound for life and education;
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you; you are the lord of duty;
I am hitherto your daughter: but here's my husband,
And so much duty as my mother show'd
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord."

In only ten lines, Desdemona pays honor to her father, reminds him that her mother also chose her husband's house over her own father's, and tells her that she is now loyal to Othello. Though Iago tries to put it into doubt later on in the tragedy, the faith Desdemona professes here never falters.

A Doll's House

Nora from Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House spends nearly the entire play keeping a huge secret from her husband, Torvald. In the final act, the secret is revealed — and Torvald's lack of love for her is plainly revealed. Nora reflects her discovery in the play's pivotal monologue.

"You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me. It is perfectly true, Torvald. When I was at home with papa, he told me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinions; and if I differed from him I concealed the fact, because he would not have liked it. He called me his doll-child, and he played with me just as I used to play with my dolls. And when I came to live with you – I mean that I was simply transferred from papa's hands into yours. You arranged everything according to your own taste, and so I got the same tastes as your else I pretended to, I am really not quite sure which –I think sometimes the one and sometimes the other. When I look back on it, it seems to me as if I had been living here like a poor woman – just from hand to mouth. I have existed merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you would have it so. You and papa have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life."

This monologue is surprisingly progressive for Ibsen's time, as it allows a female character to not only doubt her husband's love but to reject it. She goes on to leave her husband and children in an effort to find herself.

The Crucible

Arthur Miller's The Crucible has so many character-defining monologues that it's difficult to select one. But Elizabeth Proctor's speech to her husband, John, about Abigail Williams reveals her true concerns about the girl's claim that Elizabeth is a witch.

"Spoke or silent, a promise is surely made. And she may dote on it now – I am sure she does – and thinks to kill me, then to take my place. It is her dearest hope, John, I know it. There be a thousand names, why does she call mine? There be a certain danger in calling such a name – I am no Goody Good that sleeps in ditches, nor Osburn drunk and half-witted. She’s dare not call out such a farmer’s wife but there be monstrous profit in it. She thinks to take my place, John. John, have you ever shown her somewhat of contempt? She cannot pass you in the church but you will blush, and I think she sees another meaning in that blush ..."

Elizabeth is trying to convince John that Abigail has named her as a witch so that Abigail can be with John. Not only do we understand Abigail's thought process better, we hear Elizabeth accuse John of not completely ending his relationship with Abigail — adding more evidence to their marital conflict.

To Kill a Mockingbird

In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch spends much of his time legally defending Tom Robinson in a high-profile court case. His closing argument goes on for several pages and ends in the following passage.

"... I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system – that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty."

Atticus implores the jury to listen to the objective evidence in front of them and find Tom not guilty. His impassioned monologue reveals Atticus's true character — and the jury's ultimate failure to listen reveals the societal force Atticus is up against.

The Color Purple

At the end of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Celie and her ex-husband, Mr.____ are reflecting on their lives. Unlike the period when they were married, they have actually gotten to know and even trust each other. Mr.____ states.

"Anyhow, he say, you know how it is. You ask yourself one question, it lead to fifteen. I start to wonder why us need love. Why us suffer. Why us black. Why us men and women. Where do children really come from. It didn’t take long to realize I didn’t hardly know nothing. And that if you ast yourself why you black or a man or a woman or a bush it don’t mean nothing if you don’t ask why you here, period."

Celie has never known Mr.____'s mind or heart, but now he has laid out his beliefs to her. His monologue demonstrates how even the cruelest abusers can change through introspection, and how knowing oneself is more important than controlling others.

Other Written Works With Monologues

Most well-written plays and books use monologues to express how characters are feeling during an important moment. You can find more monologues in these written works, among many others.

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Macbeth
  • Richard II
  • Love's Labour Lost
  • Julius Caesar
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Agamemnon
  • The Misanthrope
  • Death of a Salesman
  • Lysistrata
  • Antigone
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Sense and Sensibility

Monologue Examples From Film

Film characters also use monologues to express their opinions and feelings, usually in a moving, sweeping moment that provides an important plot point. Check out these examples of monologues from famous films, as well as a list of additional films that include monologues.


In the film Jaws (1975), Quint is the shark expert brought in to rid Amityville of its treacherous shark. He lectures Hooper about his experience with sharks.

"You know the thing about a shark, he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't seem to be living until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over and white and then, ah, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screaming. The ocean turns red and despite all the pounding and hollering, they all come in and they rip you to pieces."

This monologue establishes two things. One, Quint knows a lot about sharks, but still doesn't fear them. And second, we as viewers understand more about the possible danger ahead.

The Godfather

One of the most iconic openings in film begins with a monologue. Before we see any other character in The Godfather(1972), Amerigo Bonasera laments the fate of his daughter.

"I believe in America. America has made my fortune, and I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom, but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a boyfriend, not an Italian. She went to the movies with him, she stayed out late…I didn’t protest. Two months ago, he took her for a drive with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey, and then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her like an animal. When I went to the hospital, her nose was broken, her jaw was shattered, held together by wire. She couldn’t even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life. Beautiful girl…now she will never be beautiful again. I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison, and suspended the sentence. Suspended the sentence. They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool, and those two b*******, they smiled at me! Then I said to my wife, “For justice, we must go to Don Corleone.”

At this moment, Don Vito Corleone speaks, and later agrees to help Bonasera with his problem, but chastises him for not being a friend to him earlier. The movie doesn't open with the monologue to show us more about Bonasera, whom we only see once more. It establishes the values and credo of Don Corleone, which the viewer is required to know in order to understand the rest of the movie.

Schindler's List

Oskar Schindler from Schindler's List (1993) has spent the latter half of the film saving Jewish prisoners from a Nazi concentration camp by hiding them as workers in his factories. When the end of World War II comes, he makes an announcement to both the Jewish workers and the Nazi guards in his factory.

"The unconditional surrender of Germany has just been announced. At midnight tonight, the war is over. Tomorrow you'll begin the process of looking for survivors of your families. In most cases... you won't find them. After six long years of murder, victims are being mourned throughout the world. We've survived. Many of you have come up to me and thanked me. Thank yourselves. Thank your fearless Stern, and others among you who worried about you and faced death at every moment. I am a member of the Nazi Party. I'm a munitions manufacturer. I'm a profiteer of slave labor. I am a criminal. At midnight, you'll be free and I'll be hunted. I shall remain with you until five minutes after midnight, after which time - and I hope you'll forgive me - I have to flee.
[He turns to the factory's guards.]
I know you have received orders from our commandant, which he has received from his superiors, to dispose of the population of this camp. Now would be the time to do it. Here they are; they're all here. This is your opportunity. Or, you could leave, and return to your families as men instead of murderers."

The monologue communicates that Schindler, despite his heroic actions, is now considered a criminal. His speech settles both the plot conflict of the war and his own inner conflict of working for a cause greater than himself.

Erin Brockovich

Corporate lawyers for the Pacific Gas and Electric company sit across from Erin Brockovich in the film Erin Brockovich(2000). They offer a low settlement amount for the victims of the chemical leak, which Erin counters with this monologue.

"First of all, since the demur, we now have more than four hundred plaintiffs and let’s be honest, we all know there’s more out there. Now, they may not be the most sophisticated people, but they do know how to divide, and twenty million dollars isn’t shit when it’s split between them. And second of all, these people don’t dream about being rich. They dream about being able to watch their kids swim in a pool without worrying they’ll have to have a hysterectomy at age 20, like Rosa Diaz, a client of ours, or have their spine deteriorate like Stan Bloom, another client of ours. So before you come back here with another lame-a** offer, I want you to think real hard about what your spine is worth, Mr. Buda, or what you’d expect someone to pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez, then you take out your calculator and multiply that number by a hundred. Anything less than that is a waste of our time."

Not only is the no-nonsense dialect indicative of Erin's character, it demonstrates how knowledgeable and passionate she is about the people she is defending. The lawyers — like the audience — know they're dealing with more than they bargained for.

Independence Day

Even high-budget action movies make use of monologues. In Independence Day (1996), President Whitmore addresses the soldiers who are preparing to fight the invading alien ship.

"Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"

The monologue is full of emotional language and sweeping declarations. It inspires both troops and audience as the film moves toward the epic, action-packed climax battle.

The Notebook

Romances often use monologues in the moments before a couple finally gets together. The Notebook (2001) makes use of this dialogue device when Noah declares his love for Allie.

"So, it’s not going to be perfect. We’ll have to work at it every day. But I want you. Not for today, or next week, but forever. Every day, you and me. Think about your life twenty years or fifty years from now. Where do you want to be? If it’s with that guy, go. I lost you once. I suppose I can do it again. Just don’t take the easy way out. Answer one question for me. Forget about me and your fiancé and your parents for a minute. Forget about what you should do. What about you? What do you want?"

It's a pivotal moment of the film for both characters. Noah, who's never been able to say these words before, says them in one monologue burst — and it's the beginning of the rest of their lives.

It's a Wonderful Life

George Bailey from It's a Wonderful Life(1946) has a difficult time holding his tongue. So when Mr. Potter wants to dissolve George's father's Savings and Loan, George can't help but say what he really thinks.

"... What'd you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they're so old and broken down that they ... Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about ... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn't think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they're cattle. Well in my book, my father died a much richer man than you'll ever be!"

The monologue is the first moment the audience sees George as an adult; not only the son of a great man but a great man himself. It establishes the central conflict of George vs. Potter that plays out throughout the rest of the film.

Other Films With Monologues

There are so many moments with outstanding and pivotal monologues in film history. Explore other films that include prominent monologues.

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • A Few Good Men
  • Blade Runner
  • Field of Dreams
  • Glengarry Glen Ross
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Jerry Maguire
  • JFK
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Taxi Driver
  • The Great Dictator
  • Tootsie
  • Wall Street

Monologues Move the Story Along

When you need to show how a character feels about a situation, a monologue is a helpful and effective tool. This form of dialogue can be revealing about a character's motives, beliefs and upcoming actions. When used well, it can also foreshadow events or provide situational irony to a story. Learn more about a different dialogue technique, the aside, and how it's different from a monologue.

Jennifer Gunner

M.Ed. Education

A Monologue in Quarantine

Top 10 Best Monologues

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10. Good Will Hunting

In this scene, Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a genius who chooses to work as a labourer, has gone to a bar with some friends, including Chuckie Sullivan (Ben Affleck.) Chuckie has attempted to chat to some girls at a bar when a pretentious male student interrupts and tries to undermine him. Will comes to the rescue to take this guy down a peg or two.

Will:  You’re a first year grad student. You just got finished readin’ some Marxian historian — Pete Garrison probably. You’re gonna be convinced of that ’til next month when you get to James Lemon, and then you’re gonna be talkin’ about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That’s gonna last until next year — you’re gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood, talkin’ about, you know, the Pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.

Clark: Well, as a matter of fact, I won’t, because Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social –

Will: Wood drastically — Wood ‘drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth.’ You got that from Vickers, ‘Work in Essex County,’ page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you…is that your thing? You come into a bar. You read some obscure passage and then pretend…you pawn it off as your own idea just to impress some girls and embarrass my friend? See the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One: don’t do that. And two: You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f—-n’ education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

There are so many great moments and speeches in this film. It really is a must see. But for me, having gone to University and met people like Clark, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Will in this scene. This moment is just incredibly funny and Damon’s delivery is spot-on. Will Hunting (Matt Damon) proves that you don’t have to be book-smart to be intelligent, and that you shouldn’t look down on others just because they don’t have the same fancy level of education that you do. This is the put-downs to end all put-downs.

Download the script for GOOD WILL HUNTING here for free.

9. Pulp Fiction

Jules Winfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) are two hitmen out on a job. Right before Jules executes his target, Brett (Frank Whale), he looks him in the eyes and recites a biblical passage. Later on in the film, Jules recites the same passage to Ringo (Tim Roth), who is holding up the diner that they are in.

Jules: There’s this passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. ‘The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.’ I been saying that shit for years. And if you heard it, that meant your ass. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was some cold-blooded shit to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this morning made me think twice. See, now I’m thinking, maybe it means you’re the evil man, and I’m the righteous man, and Mr. 9 millimeter here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is, you’re the weak, and I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.

Before you say it, no, I haven’t picked this speech because Jules Winfield is the epitome of cool. I have chosen it because it is used different times and for different purposes in Pulp Fiction.

In the first instance, Jules is a powerful figure, towering over Brett and delivering vengeance. We think “shit…this guy means business.”

In the second instance, we hear the same speech again, but we are now in the bathroom of Brett’s apartment with one of Brett’s quaking friends. Hearing the speech in this way, and seeing this other guy’s confused reaction to it, makes us re-evaluate what we have heard. Does it even make sense? We were too busy being mesmerized by Jackson’s performance to actually think about what he was saying.

In this third and final instance, Jules has undergone a spiritual transformation and he even re-evaluates the passage. It makes him reflect on the meaning that is missing from his life. So, it isn’t quite the speech itself that is important, but how in represents Jules’ transformation.

All that from one speech?! I know!

Download the script for PULP FICTION here for free.

8. Wall Street

Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is an aptly-named, wealthy, unscrupulous broker. He manipulates the market by using inside information and keeping to his motto “Greed is good.” In this scene, Gekko makes a speech at a shareholders’ meeting of Teldar Paper, a company he is planning to take over.

Gordon: Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re not here to indulge in fantasy, but in political and economic reality. America, America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. Now, in the days of the free market, when our country was a top industrial power, there was accountability to the stockholder. The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company! The point is, ladies and gentleman, is that greed – for lack of a better word – is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind. And Greed – you mark my words – will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

What is important to remember is that this is not an anti-capitalist film. It’s about two different types of capitalism: the ruthless kind advocated by Gekko and the more traditional kind practiced by his victims. So, what Oliver Stone does here is very clever. At the shareholders’ meeting, Gekko (a representative for all brokers) is given the chance to justify his actions, and he does so by identifying the waste and slothfulness that corporal America has acquired in the postwar years. He cleverly shifts the blame and is so eerily convincing that we’re almost inclined to agree with him; his audience certainly does. To succeed in this way, this has to be a speech that is both well-written and well-performed. Scarily, this speech is said to have inspired many young professionals to work on Wall Street too.

Download the script for WALL STREET here for free.

7. Saving Private Ryan

Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) and seven other soldiers have been sent on a mission to rescue Private James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers have been killed in service. When one of Miller’s group, Richard Reiben (Edward Burns) declares his intention to desert the squad, Miller reveals his pre-war occupation. At this, Reiben decides to stay.

Captain Miller: Mike? What’s the pool on me up to right now? What’s it up to? What is it, three hundred dollars — is that it? Three hundred? I’m a school teacher. I teach English Composition in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I’ve been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was coach of the baseball team in the spring time. Back home when I tell people what I do for a living, they think, well, that, that figures. But over here it’s a big, a big mystery. So I guess I’ve changed some. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve changed so much my wife is even gonna recognize me whenever it is I get back to her — and how I’ll ever be able to tell her about days like today. Ryan — I don’t know anything about Ryan. I don’t care. Man means nothin’ to me. It’s just a name. But if — you know — if going to Remeal and finding him so he can go home, if that earns me the right to get back to my wife — well, then, then that’s my mission. You wanna leave? You wanna go off and fight the war? Alright. Alright, I won’t stop you. I’ll even put in the paperwork. I just know that every man I kill, the farther away from home I feel.

It’s hard not to love Tom Hanks, but he really wins over his audience (and Reiben) with this speech. He teaches kids, for goodness’ sake, and he’s leading a squad on a heroic mission. And all he wants to do is go home to his wife. Some might say that this pulls a little too much at the heart strings, but I think it is beautiful. It has that David vs. Goliath-type quality to it, where an ordinary man is about to rise up and do something truly heroic. We love you Tom!

Download the script for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN here for free.

6. Apocalypse Now

In this classic Vietnam movie, there is a napalm strike on the beach (“Ride of the Valkyries” famously accompanies this) and Lt. Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall) nostalgically tells those around him of a previous napalm strike that he endured.

Lt. Col. Kilgore: You smell that? Do you smell that? … Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like … victory. Someday this war’s gonna end …

The “napalm” speech was voted number 1 film speech of all time in a series of polls by video store chain Blockbuster. This speech really brings to light the horror of war; that a man can bask in the glory of the deaths of hundreds or thousands. What’s more, he treats it so ordinarily, as if he was going to say “coffee” or “bacon.” This speech will always carry weight because horrors such as these and people such as Kilgore do exist.

Download the script for APOCALYPSE NOW here for free.

5. On the Waterfront

In this story of Mob informers, Marlon Brando plays Terry, a former promising boxer, whose lawyer brother Charley (Rod Steiger) once asked him to throw a fight. Charley had been pressured to do this by his client, Mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb.) In this scene, one of the most famous in film history, Terry has been put on Friendly’s hit list, and he tells his brother that if not for the fixed fight, he could have made something of himself, “been somebody.”

Charley Malloy: Look, kid, I – how much you weigh, son? When you weighed one hundred and sixty-eight pounds you were beautiful. You coulda been another Billy Conn, and that skunk we got you for a manager, he brought you along too fast.

Terry Malloy: It wasn’t him, Charley, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and you said, “Kid, this ain’t your night. We’re going for the price on Wilson.” You remember that? “This ain’t your night”! My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn’t have to take them dives for the short-end money.

Charley Malloy: Oh I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.

Terry Malloy: You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Charley. 

Terry has realised that his brother had betrayed him and sold him out to “Palookaville”- a reference to “Palooka,” an inferior or average boxer. He knew he had a winner inside of himself and is expressing his terrible loss. Everyone can appreciate this feeling of loss and regret and Brando’s Oscar-winning performance really drives it on home. In fact, the audiences of 1954 had never seen such a performance. “He had a spontaneity, looseness, and realism, and film acting was never quite the same afterwards.” (Craigs Cinema Corner.) This speech signifies an important moment for performance in film history, and you will also see it used by De Niro in Raging Bull.

Download the script for ON THE WATERFRONT here for free.

4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) is a naïve and idealistic young man who is chosen as a replacement for a place in the US Senate. Upon arrival, he becomes aware of the corruption all around him. He proposes a bill to build a national boys’ camp, but this bill is blocked as the land is already part of a dam-building scheme included in a Public Works bill. Having been accused by the calculating opposition of trying to profit from his bill, Smith prepares a full-on filibuster to postpone a Works bill and to prove his innocence.  If I could, I would put Jimmy Stewarts’ entire filibuster up here; but I can’t, as it is quite extensive and is stretched over several scenes. So I have chosen the fantastic climax of this courtroom drama.

Smith: I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don’t know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them once, for the only reason any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain, simple rule: “Love thy neighbor. And in this world today full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr. Paine. And I loved you for it — just as my father did. And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others. Yes, you even die for them — like a man we both knew, Mr. Paine. You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked! Well, I’m not licked. And I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause, even if this room gets filled with lies like these; and the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me.

And with that, Smith collapses on the desk, exhausted. This is a truly great moment in cinema. It is the “everyman” taking on the Government with everything that he has, and Smith still holds onto that little bit of hope that “somebody will listen.” Of course, we find out that somebody does. Stewart was always a consistently great actor, and I think Mr. Smith is one of his best performances. Normally, in a speech such as this, one might expect there to be triumphant music and a puffed-out chest. What is so fantastic about this speech is that, in this case, you don’t get that. You literally see the passion and determination pour out of Smith. He is just an ordinary guy trying to do something extraordinary, and he is rewarded for his extraordinary amount of heart.

3. Network

Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is a long-time anchor for the UBS Evening News and has been told that he only has two more weeks on air due to declining ratings. He tells viewers that he will commit suicide live on air. Driven insane, and exploited by ratings-mad programming VP Diane Christensen (Faye Dunaway), Beale delivers this impassioned speech to the nation.

Beale: I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be! We all know things are bad — worse than bad — they’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone. Well, I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad. You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,”I’m as mad as hell,and I’m not going to take this anymore!!

Speeches of revolution will always stand the test of time because there is always something for the common man to want or need to rise up against. Crime, rioting, terrorism, a Depression, a Recession, scare stories from the media etc. What’s more, this speech is so well-written and of course incredibly well-performed. There is so much truth to it and so much passion that has come bubbling to the surface that it can almost make one feel quite ashamed. Your average person in the US or the UK is a passive, complacent person who doesn’t want to make a fuss and is happy to plod along. As long as we are “left alone,” many of us will allow the Government or whoever to do whatever they please. “Ignorance is bliss”… there may not be a truer statement, and that’s why this speech will always be relevant, time and time again.

Download the script for NETWORK here for free.

2. Jaws

We all know the story. A great white has closed in on a summer resort town and a shark hunter named Quint (Robert Shaw) is brought in to take care of it. One night on the hunting boat, Quint tells his shipmates, marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), of his experience with sharks as a survivor of the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis.

Quint: A Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin’ back, from the island of Tinian Delady, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into that water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know, you know what when you’re in the water, chief? You tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. Well, we didn’t know. ‘Cause our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin’. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it’s…kinda like ‘ol squares in a battle like a, you see on a calender, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark would go for the nearest man and then he’d start poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know that thing about a shark, he’s got…lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin’ and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin’ and hollerin’ they all come in and rip ya to pieces.Y’know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men! I donk’t know how many sharks, maybe a thousand! I don’t know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin’ chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson of Cleveland. Baseball player. Bosom’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well…he’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and saw us. He’d a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest. June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

So it might not be hugely historically accurate, but this speech is one of the most chilling I have ever seen. The performance is also on the best on this list; what’s so great about it is that it is such a subtle performance. There is no wild gesticulation or any booming voices, which one might expect from such a dramatic story. Notice that he never blinks? And the expression on his face, almost like he’s telling a joke? The speech brings together the brutality of both nature and human history. What’s especially great is that we are not shown the brutality, but are told it. And the great writing means that we can see it in our mind’s eye. Surely that creates a much more powerful image than anything that could have been played out on screen? The finishing touch, “anyway, we delivered the bomb” is wickedly wonderful.

Download the script for JAWS here for free.

1. A Few Good Men

In this courtroom drama, two Marines are accused of murdering a fellow Marine of their unit, PFC William Santiago Michael DeLorenzo, at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, which is under the command of Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson). It is suspected that Jessep ordered the two Marines to carry out a “code red” on Santiage – a euphemism for a violent extrajudicial punishment. Lawyer Daniel “Danny” Kaffee (Tom Cruise) directly accuses Jessep of this in the courtroom and, heavily under pressure and tangled in his own lies, Jessep makes a furious declaration.

Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I think I’m entitled.

Jessep: You want answers?

Kaffee: I want the truth!

Jessep: 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? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!

Kaffee: Did you order the code red?

Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.

Kaffee: Did you order the code red?

Jessep: You’re goddamn right I did!!

“You can’t handle the truth!” is one of the most famous lines in cinema, and Col. Jessep’s speech is certainly a beautiful defense of the military. Yet we are more than happy to see him hauled away in the end: “You’re under arrest, you son of a bitch.” His speech is so powerful and impassioned that we are left flustered, unsure whether or not to agree with him. The addition of Nicholson’s terrific performance makes this final scene a real “tour de force of cinema” (Film4.) This speech will always carry weight with its audience because “doing what is right for the Nation” always comes with controversies. Whilst researching in some forums, I found that many agreed with what Jessep said, and the vote on whether or not A Few Good Men was a pro- or anti-military movie was split right down the middle. This speech is great because it’s a few minutes of cinema that grabs us by the throat and makes us question our beliefs and principles.


Example monologue script


Roses are Red (Craig) DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE


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