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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Monologues for Men

KING.

How many thousand of my poorest subjects

Are at this hour asleep! O sleep! O gentle sleep!

Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,

That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,

And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,

Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,

And hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,

Than in the perfum’d chambers of the great,

Under the canopies of costly state,

And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?

O thou dull god, why li’st thou with the vile

In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch

A watch-case or a common ’larum-bell?

Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast

Seal up the ship-boy’s eyes, and rock his brains

In cradle of the rude imperious surge,

And in the visitation of the winds,

Who take the ruffian billows by the top,

Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them

With deafing clamor in the slippery clouds,

That with the hurly death itself awakes?

Canst thou, O partial sleep, give then repose

To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,

And in the calmest and most stillest night,

With all appliances and means to boot,

Deny it to a king? Then (happy) low, lie down!

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

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