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Monologues for Men


Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this son of York;

And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,

Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,

Our stern alarums chang’d to merry meetings,

Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

Grim-visag’d War hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;

And now, in stead of mounting barbed steeds

To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,

He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

But I, that am not shap’d for sportive tricks,

Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;

I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty

To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;

I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,

Deform’d, unfinish’d, sent before my time

Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,

And that so lamely and unfashionable

That dogs bark at me as I halt by them—

Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,

Have no delight to pass away the time,

Unless to see my shadow in the sun

And descant on mine own deformity.

And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover

To entertain these fair well-spoken days,

I am determined to prove a villain

And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,

By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,

To set my brother Clarence and the King

In deadly hate the one against the other;

And if King Edward be as true and just

As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,

This day should Clarence closely be mew’d up

About a prophecy, which says that G

Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.

Dive, thoughts, down to my soul, here Clarence comes!

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