I chose this week’s monologue because we’ve been working with it quite a bit over the past few weeks in my Theatre class. It comes from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and is delivered by Macbeth himself in Act 5 scene 5, right after he receives news that his wife has just died.

“She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word,
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
the way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Deep, right? Like I said above, my Theatre class has a performance this week revolving around this quote and so we’ve talked about what it means to us and looked at all the different ways a person can read into, but in relation to Macbeth this monologue is all about how much life sucks. Macbeth is a broken man who has lied and murdered his way to power, and now is witnessing his life tear apart at the seams. He knows that this is the end for him, he has had his hour upon the stage and so he takes this opportunity to have a final word about life before he is heard no more…

This here is my favorite version that I’ve seen of the monologue. It is the 1979 TV version of the Trevor Nunn production by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and it is performed by Sir Ian McKellen. The video quality isn’t that great and it includes much more of the scene than just this monologue but it’ll have to do.

If you have any other suggestions for monologues or thoughts about this one, leave em in the comments section below!

 

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