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Monologues About Love – From Published Plays

Finding the perfect monologue can be a challenging task! But that’s exactly why we’re going to be offering a new series of blog posts in which we group together some of the greatest monologues from published plays. None of the monologues that we select are self-written or stand-alone pieces. These are all legitimate options that can be used when auditioning for your next show. And to kick things off, we’re going to start with some amazing monologues about love!

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“Three Months on Thursday”

Play: The Importance of Being Earnest➝

Playwright: Oscar Wilde

Role: Cecily Cardew

You silly boy! Of course. Why, we have been engaged for the last three months. Yes, it will be exactly three months on Thursday. Well, ever since dear Uncle Jack first confessed to us that he had a younger brother who was very wicked and bad, you of course have formed the chief topic of conversation between myself and Miss Prism. And of course a man who is much talked about is always very attractive. One feels there must be something in him after all. I daresay it was foolish of me, but I fell in love with you, Ernest. …

The engagement was settled on the 14th of February last. Worn out by your entire ignorance of my existence, I determined to end the matter one way or the other, and after a long struggle with myself I accepted you under this dear old tree here. The next day I bought this little ring in your name, and this is the little bangle with the true lovers’ knot I promised you always to wear.

“Don’t Speak”

Play: The Straw➝

Playwright: Eugene O’Neill

Role: Eileen Carmody

Then I want to say—I know your secret. You don’t love me—Isn’t that it? Sssh! It’s all right, dear. You can’t help what you don’t feel. I’ve guessed you didn’t—right along. And I’ve loved you—such a long time now—always, it seems. And you’ve sort of guessed—that I did—didn’t you? No, don’t speak! I’m sure you’ve guessed—only you didn’t want to know—that—did you?—when you didn’t love me. That’s why you were lying—but I saw, I knew! Oh, I’m not blaming you, darling. How could I—never! You mustn’t look so—so frightened. I know how you felt, dear. I’ve—I’ve watched you. It was just a flirtation for you at first. Wasn’t it?

Oh, I know. It was just fun, and—Please don’t look at me so. I’m not hurting you, am I? I wouldn’t for worlds, dear—you know—hurt you! And then afterwards—you found we could be such good friends—helping each other—and you wanted it to stay just like that always, didn’t you?—I know—and then I had to spoil it all—and fall in love with you—didn’t I? Oh, it was stupid—I shouldn’t—I couldn’t help it, you were so kind and—and different—and I wanted to share in your work and—and everything. I knew you wouldn’t want to know I loved you—when you didn’t—and I tried hard to be fair and hide my love so you wouldn’t see—and I did, didn’t I, dear? You never knew till just lately—maybe not till just to-day—did you?—when I knew you were going away so soon—and couldn’t help showing it. You never knew before, did you? Did you?

“Tommy Has Proposed”

Play: An Ideal Husband➝

Playwright: Oscar Wilde

Role: Mabel Chiltern

Well, Tommy has proposed to me again. Tommy really does nothing but propose to me. He proposed to me last night in the music-room, when I was quite unprotected, as there was an elaborate trio going on. I didn’t dare to make the smallest repartee, I need hardly tell you. If I had, it would have stopped the music at once. Musical people are so absurdly unreasonable. They always want one to be perfectly dumb at the very moment when one is longing to be absolutely deaf. Then he proposed to me in broad daylight this morning, in front of that dreadful statue of Achilles. Really, the things that go on in front of that work of art are quite appalling. The police should interfere.

At luncheon I saw by the glare in his eye that he was going to propose again, and I just managed to check him in time by assuring him that I was a bimetallist. Fortunately I don’t know what bimetallism means. And I don’t believe anybody else does either. But the observation crushed Tommy for ten minutes. He looked quite shocked. And then Tommy is so annoying in the way he proposes. If he proposed at the top of his voice, I should not mind so much. That might produce some effect on the public. But he does it in a horrid confidential way. When Tommy wants to be romantic he talks to one just like a doctor. I am very fond of Tommy, but his methods of proposing are quite out of date. I wish, Gertrude, you would speak to him, and tell him that once a week is quite often enough to propose to any one, and that it should always be done in a manner that attracts some attention.

“Debts and Dowagers”

Play: An Ideal Husband➝

Playwright: Oscar Wilde

Role: Mrs. Cheveley

[To herself.] I wonder what woman he is waiting for to-night. It will be delightful to catch him. Men always look so silly when they are caught. And they are always being caught. [Looks about room and approaches the writing-table.] What a very interesting room! What a very interesting picture! Wonder what his correspondence is like. [Takes up letters.] Oh, what a very uninteresting correspondence! Bills and cards, debts and dowagers! Who on earth writes to him on pink paper? How silly to write on pink paper! It looks like the beginning of a middle-class romance. Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.

[Puts letter downthen takes it up again.] I know that handwriting. That is Gertrude Chiltern’s. I remember it perfectly. The ten commandments in every stroke of the pen, and the moral law all over the page. Wonder what Gertrude is writing to him about? Something horrid about me, I suppose. How I detest that woman!  [Reads it.] ‘I trust you. I want you. I am coming to you. Gertrude.’ ‘I trust you. I want you. I am coming to you.’ [A look of triumph comes over her face.]

“The Name Jack”

Play: The Importance of Being Earnest➝

Playwright: Oscar Wilde

Role: Gwendolen Fairfax

Yes, I am quite aware of the fact. And I often wish that in public, at any rate, you had been more demonstrative. For me you have always had an irresistible fascination. Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you. We live, as I hope you know, Mr. Worthing, in an age of ideals. The fact is constantly mentioned in the more expensive monthly magazines, and has reached the provincial pulpits I am told; and my ideal has always been to love someone of the name of Ernest. There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence. The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.

Jack? … No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations … I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John! And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment’s solitude. The only really safe name is Ernest.

“No Greater Sorrow”

Play: Uncle Vanya➝

Playwright: Anton Chekhov

Role: Yelena Andreevna

[Alone] There is no greater sorrow than to know another’s secret when you cannot help them. [In deep thought] He is obviously not in love with her, but why shouldn’t he marry her? She is not pretty, but she is so clever and pure and good, she would make a splendid wife for a country doctor of his years.

[A pause] I can understand how the poor child feels. She lives here in this desperate loneliness with no one around her except these colourless shadows that go mooning about talking nonsense and knowing nothing except that they eat, drink, and sleep. Among them appears from time to time this Dr. Astroff, so different, so handsome, so interesting, so charming. It is like seeing the moon rise on a dark night. Oh, to surrender oneself to his embrace! To lose oneself in his arms! I am a little in love with him myself! Yes, I am lonely without him, and when I think of him I smile. That Uncle Vanya says I have the blood of a Nixey in my veins: “Give rein to your nature for once in your life!” Perhaps it is right that I should. Oh, to be free as a bird, to fly away from all your sleepy faces and your talk and forget that you have existed at all! But I am a coward, I am afraid; my conscience torments me. He comes here every day now. I can guess why, and feel guilty already; I should like to fall on my knees at Sonia’s feet and beg her forgiveness, and weep.

“There Was Your Mistake”

Play: An Ideal Husband➝

Playwright: Oscar Wilde

Role: Sir Robert Chiltern

There was your mistake. There was your error. The error all women commit. Why can’t you women love us, faults and all? Why do you place us on monstrous pedestals? We have all feet of clay, women as well as men; but when we men love women, we love them knowing their weaknesses, their follies, their imperfections, love them all the more, it may be, for that reason. It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love. It is when we are wounded by our own hands, or by the hands of others, that love should come to cure us—else what use is love at all? All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. All lives, save loveless lives, true Love should pardon. A man’s love is like that. It is wider, larger, more human than a woman’s. Women think that they are making ideals of men. What they are making of us are false idols merely. You made your false idol of me, and I had not the courage to come down, show you my wounds, tell you my weaknesses. I was afraid that I might lose your love, as I have lost it now. And so, last night you ruined my life for me—yes, ruined it!

What this woman asked of me was nothing compared to what she offered to me. She offered security, peace, stability. The sin of my youth, that I had thought was buried, rose up in front of me, hideous, horrible, with its hands at my throat. I could have killed it for ever, sent it back into its tomb, destroyed its record, burned the one witness against me. You prevented me. No one but you, you know it. And now what is there before me but public disgrace, ruin, terrible shame, the mockery of the world, a lonely dishonoured life, a lonely dishonoured death, it may be, some day? Let women make no more ideals of men! let them not put them on alters and bow before them, or they may ruin other lives as completely as you—you whom I have so wildly loved—have ruined mine!

“A Blithering Lunatic”

Play: King Arthur’s Socks➝

Playwright: Floyd Dell

Role: Lancelot

I am going to be married. Yes–again–and as soon as possible–to Vivien. I love her. She loves me. Then why should I be at this moment aching to kiss you? Tell me that? It is absolutely insane! It’s preposterous! It’s contradictory! Yes! I’m sure that I never would commit the rashness of matrimony again without being in love. Very much in love. And I’m equally sure that I would not stand here and tell you what a fool I am about you, if that weren’t true. Do you think I want to be this way? It’s too ridiculous–I didn’t want to tell you. I wanted to go. You made me stay. Well, now you know what a blithering lunatic I am.

“Wholeheartedly in Love”

Play: Overruled➝

Playwright: George Bernard Shaw

Role: Gregory Lunn

You see, it’s a great many years since I’ve been able to allow myself to fall in love. I know lots of charming women; but the worst of it is, they’re all married. Women don’t become charming, to my taste, until they’re fully developed; and by that time, if they’re really nice, they’re snapped up and married. And then, because I am a good man, I have to place a limit to my regard for them. I may be fortunate enough to gain friendship and even very warm affection from them; but my loyalty to their husbands and their hearths and their happiness obliges me to draw a line and not overstep it. Of course I value such affectionate regard very highly indeed. I am surrounded with women who are most dear to me. But every one of them has a post sticking up, if I may put it that way, with the inscription Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted. How we all loathe that notice! In every lovely garden, in every dell full of primroses, on every fair hillside, we meet that confounded board; and there is always a gamekeeper round the corner. But what is that to the horror of meeting it on every beautiful woman, and knowing that there is a husband round the corner? I have had this accursed board standing between me and every dear and desirable woman until I thought I had lost the power of letting myself fall really and wholeheartedly in love.

“A Shameless Woman”

Play: Lady Windermere’s Fan➝

Playwright: Oscar Wilde

Role: Lord Darlington

My life—my whole life. Take it, and do with it what you will. … I love you—love you as I have never loved any living thing. From the moment I met you I loved you, loved you blindly, adoringly, madly! You did not know it then—you know it now! Leave this house to-night. I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a great deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose! Oh, my love, choose.

Yes; you have the courage. There may be six months of pain, of disgrace even, but when you no longer bear his name, when you bear mine, all will be well. Margaret, my love, my wife that shall be some day—yes, my wife! You know it! What are you now? This woman has the place that belongs by right to you. Oh! go—go out of this house, with head erect, with a smile upon your lips, with courage in your eyes. All London will know why you did it; and who will blame you? No one. If they do, what matter? Wrong? What is wrong? It’s wrong for a man to abandon his wife for a shameless woman. It is wrong for a wife to remain with a man who so dishonours her. You said once you would make no compromise with things. Make none now. Be brave! Be yourself!


Play: Sweet-and-Twenty➝

Playwright: Floyd Dell

Role: The Agent

Marriage, my young friends, is an iniquitous arrangement devised by the Devil himself for driving all the love out of the hearts of lovers. They start out as much in love with each other as you two are today, and they end by being as sick of the sight of each other as you two will be five years hence if I don’t find a way of saving you alive out of the Devil’s own trap. It’s not lack of love that’s the trouble with marriage—it’s marriage itself. And when I say marriage, I don’t mean promising to love, honour, and obey, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health till death do you part—that’s only human nature to wish and to attempt. And it might be done if it weren’t for the iniquitous arrangement of marriage.


Play: The Proposal➝

Playwright: Anton Chekhov

Role: Ivan Vassilevitch Lomov

It’s cold… I’m trembling all over, just as if I’d got an examination before me. The great thing is, I must have my mind made up. If I give myself time to think, to hesitate, to talk a lot, to look for an ideal, or for real love, then I’ll never get married…. Brr!… It’s cold! Natalya Stepanovna is an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated…. What more do I want? But I’m getting a noise in my ears from excitement. And it’s impossible for me not to marry…. In the first place, I’m already 35—a critical age, so to speak. In the second place, I ought to lead a quiet and regular life….

I suffer from palpitations, I’m excitable and always getting awfully upset…. At this very moment my lips are trembling, and there’s a twitch in my right eyebrow…. But the very worst of all is the way I sleep. I no sooner get into bed and begin to go off when suddenly something in my left side—gives a pull, and I can feel it in my shoulder and head…. I jump up like a lunatic, walk about a bit, and lie down again, but as soon as I begin to get off to sleep there’s another pull! And this may happen twenty times…

Which of these monologues about love is your favorite?

Did you use any of them for an audition? Feel free to share in the comments below! And in the meantime, you can check out our database of audition songs, sorted by show!

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Stacy Karyn, Author of Monologues About Love.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


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