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Measure for Measure - Audition Sides

Here are the five audition sides that actors will be asked to read from, regardless of which character he/she would like to play. There is no need to memorize for the auditions!


ANGELO The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept: Those many had not dared to do that evil, If the first that did the edict infringe Had answer'd for his deed: now 'tis awake Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils, Are now to have no successive degrees, But, ere they live, to end. ISABELLA Yet show some pity. ANGELO I show it most of all when I show justice; Your brother dies to-morrow; be content. ISABELLA O, it is excellent To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant. Could great men thunder As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet, For every pelting, petty officer Would use his heaven for thunder; Nothing but thunder! but man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he's most assured, His glassy essence, like an angry ape, Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As make the angels weep; ANGELO Why do you put these sayings upon me? ISABELLA Because authority, though it err like others, Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself, That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know That's like my brother's fault: if it confess A natural guiltiness such as is his, Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue Against my brother's life. ANGELO I will bethink me: come again tomorrow.


ISABELLA Be ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow. CLAUDIO Yes. Has he affections in him, That thus can make him bite the law by the nose, When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin, Or of the deadly seven, it is the least. ISABELLA Which is the least? CLAUDIO If it were damnable, he being so wise, Why would he for the momentary trick Be perdurably fined? O Isabel! ISABELLA What says my brother? CLAUDIO Death is a fearful thing. ISABELLA And shamed life a hateful. CLAUDIO Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; To lie in cold obstruction and to rot; This sensible warm motion to become A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice; To be imprison'd in the viewless winds, And blown with restless violence round about The pendent world; or to be worse than worst Of those that lawless and incertain thought Imagine howling: 'tis too horrible! The weariest and most loathed worldly life That age, ache, penury and imprisonment Can lay on nature is a paradise To what we fear of death. ISABELLA Alas, alas! CLAUDIO Sweet sister, let me live: What sin you do to save a brother's life, Nature dispenses with the deed so far That it becomes a virtue.


ESCALUS Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more? POMPEY Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once. ELBOW I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife. POMPEY I beseech your honour, ask me. ESCALUS Well, sir; what did this gentleman to her? POMPEY I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face. POMPEY Nay; I beseech you, mark it well. ESCALUS Well, I do so. POMPEY Doth your honour see any harm in his face? ESCALUS Why, no. POMPEY I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the constable's wife any harm? ELBOW O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married to her! ESCALUS Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters: they will draw you, Master Froth. Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you. FROTH I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room in a tap-house, but I am drawn in. ESCALUS What's your name, Master Tapster? POMPEY Pompey. ESCALUS What else? POMPEY Bum, sir. ESCALUS Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you


LUCIO Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a man! Would the duke that is absent have done this? Ere he would have hanged a man for the getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a thousand: he had some feeling of the sport: he knew the service, and that instructed him to mercy. DUKE VINCENTIO I never heard the absent duke much detected for women; he was not inclined that way. LUCIO O, sir, you are deceived. DUKE VINCENTIO 'Tis not possible. LUCIO Who, not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish: the duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk too; that let me inform you. DUKE VINCENTIO You do him wrong, surely. LUCIO Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the duke: and I believe I know the cause of his withdrawing. DUKE VINCENTIO What, I prithee, might be the cause? LUCIO No, pardon; 'tis a secret must be locked within the teeth and the lips: but this I can let you understand, the greater file of the subject held the duke to be wise. DUKE VINCENTIO Wise! why, no question but he was. LUCIO A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow. DUKE VINCENTIO Either this is the envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life and the business he hath helmed must upon a warranted need give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully: or if your knowledge be more it is much darkened in your malice. LUCIO Sir, I know him, and I love him. DUKE VINCENTIO Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love. LUCIO Come, sir, I know what I know. DUKE VINCENTIO I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak.


DUKE VINCENTIO Be absolute for death; either death or life Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life: If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art, Servile to all the skyey influences, That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st, Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool; For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble; For all the accommodations that thou bear'st Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant; For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep, And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself; For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not; For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get, And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain; For thy complexion shifts to strange effects, After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor; For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows, Thou bear's thy heavy riches but a journey, And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none; For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire, The mere effusion of thy proper loins, Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum, For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age, But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep, Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich, Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty, To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this That bears the name of life? Yet in this life

Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear, That makes these odds all even.

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