Free Monologues - Susan

From Bookends

Susan, an English professor in her mid-30s, from Bookends.

(Warning: Using this monologue without permission is illegal, as is reproducing it on a website or in print in any way.)


Good morning. I am Professor Susan Harris, and the name of this course
(Eric, looking like he's overslept, enters. Susan pauses to watch him.)
is Shakespeare. It should be called Shakespeare's plays, because we don't study his poetry. I don't like all that sissy sonnet crap. Shakespeare, ladies and gentlemen, is about winners and losers. And whatever happens is always the loser's fault. Richard II, consummate loser. Loses his kingdom because he's too slow and pathetic to do anything. It's his fault. Think about it. Why do we care about Richard? It's ludicrous. In fact, I would propose that Richard is actually the usurper and that Henry Bullingbrook was king all along. Richard is therefore filler, and since there are already two plays named after Henry IV, Richard II should be eliminated entirely. However, the department is strongly against eliminating Richard II from the syllabus, so as a compromise we will be reading only Henry's lines.
Give me a loser, ladies and gentlemen, and I will give you a place to lay the blame. Did Richard III cry? Of course not. But all those cowardly dukes and princes who committed suicide and tried to frame him did. Richard III met death the way he met life. With confidence. He went out a winner. Study his speeches with care. Memorize them. You will be tested on them. You will not be asked to remember the losers. You may discard them in literature as you should in life.
Co-Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles
, member of The Dramatists Guild of America, and life member of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.

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