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From the play "Fences"

written by August Wilson


(From August Wilson's play Fences. In 1957, Troy is a hard-working, strong black man with a
wife, Rose, with whom he had a son, Cory and another son by a previous marriage, Lyons. His
brother, Gabriel is slightly crazy and he just got a job driving the truck for the sanitation
department. Trouble is, he has no driver's license...so he's got a few things on his mind. The
conversation has turned to fathers and Troy gives us some valuable insight into why he is the
way he is.)
Troy: My daddy ain't had them walking blues! What you talking about? He stayed right there
with his family. But he was just as evil as he could be. My mama couldn't stand him. Couldn't
stand that evilness. She run off when I was about eight. She sneaked off one night after he had
gone to sleep. Told me she was coming back for me. I ain't never seen her no more. All his
women run off and left him. He wasn't good for nobody. When my turn come to head out, I was
fourteen and got to sniffing around Joe Canewell's daughter. Had us an old mule we called
Greyboy. My daddy sent me out to do some plowing and I tied up Greyboy and went to fooling
around with Joe Canewell's daughter. We done found us a nice little spot, got real cozy with each
other. She about thirteen and we done figured we was grown anyway . . . so we down there
enjoying ourselves . . . ain't thinking about nothing. We didn't know Greyboy had got loose and
wandered back to the house and my daddy was looking for me. We down there by the creek
enjoying ourselves when my daddy come up on us. Surprised us. He had them leather straps off
the mule and commenced to whupping me like there was no tomorrow. I jumped up, mad and
embarrassed. I was scared of my daddy. When he commenced to whupping on me . . . quite
naturally I run to get out of the way. (pause) Now I thought he was mad cause I ain't done my
work. But I see where he was chasing me off so he could have the gal for himself. When I see
what the matter of it was, I lost all fear of my daddy. Right there is where I become a man . . . at
fourteen years of age. (pause) Now it was my turn to run him off. I picked up them same reins
that he had used on me. I picked up them reins and commenced to whupping on him. The gal
jumped up and run off . . . and when my daddy turned to face me, I could see why the devil had
never come to get him . . . cause he was the devil himself. I don't know what happened. When I
woke up, I was laying right there by the creek, and Blue . . . this old dog we had . . . was licking
my face. I thought I was blind. I couldn't see nothing. Both my eyes were swollen shut. I layed
there and cried. I didn't know what I was gonna do. The only thing I knew was the time had
come for me to leave my daddy's house. And right there the world suddenly got big. And it was a
long time before I could cut it down to where I could handle it. Part of that cutting down was
when I got to the place where I could feel him kicking in my blood and knew that the only thing
that separated us was the matter of a few years.

Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller
(Biff confronts his father about the truth of his life, and the false images that Willy had for his
son)

Biff: You know why I had no address for three months? I stole a suit in Kansas City and I
was jailed. I stole myself out of every good job since high school. And I never got
anywhere because you blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from
anybody! That's whose fault it is! It's god**** time you heard that! I had to be boss big
shot in two weeks, and I'm through with it! Willy! I ran down eleven flights with a pen in
my hand today. And suddenly I stopped, you hear me? And in the middle of that office
building, do you hear this? I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw - the sky. I
saw the things that I love in the world. The work and the food and the time to sit and
smoke. And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the **** am I grabbing this for?
Why am I trying to become what I don't want to be? What am I doing in an office,
making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for
me the minute I say I know who I am! Why can't I say that, Willy? Pop! I'm a dime a
dozen, and so are you! I am not a leader of men, Willy, and neither are you. You were
never anything but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash-can like all the rest of
them! I'm one dollar an hour, Willy! I tried seven states and couldn't raise it! A buck an
hour! Do you gather my meaning? I'm not bringing home any prizes any more, and you're
going to stop waiting for me to bring them home! Pop, I'm nothing! I'm nothing, Pop.
Can't you understand that? There's no spite in it any more. I'm just what I am, that's all.
Will you let me go, for Christ's sake? Will you take that phoney dream and burn it before
something happens?

Hamlet - Prince Hamlet gives advice to his actors before their performance. He
discusses the art of acting.
Hamlet: Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the
tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke
my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, by use all gently, for in
the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire
and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a
robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of
the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb
shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It outherods Herod. Pray you avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be
your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special
observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from
the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as
'twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and
the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come
tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the
censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O,
there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to
speak profanely), that neither having th' accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian,
pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's
journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so
abominably. Reform it altogether! And let those that play your clowns speak no more
than is set down for them, for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some
quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some necessary
question of the play be then to be considered. That's villainous and shows a most pitiful
ambition in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.

Youre a Good Man, Charlie Brown! Musical - Clark Gesner


(Charlie Brown shares his thinking with the audience as he eats his lunch during a
typical school day for him.)
Charlie Brown: I think lunchtime is about the worst time of day for me. Always having
to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes, mornings aren't so pleasant either. Waking up and
wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there's the
night, too. Lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I've done during the day.
And all those hours in between when I do all those stupid things. Well, lunchtime is
among the worst times of the day for me. Well, I guess I'd better see what I've got. Peanut
butter. Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely...I
guess they're right. And when you're really lonely, the peanut butter sticks to the roof of
your mouth. There's that cute little red-headed girl eating her lunch over there. I wonder
what she would do if I went over and asked her if I could sit and have lunch with
her?...She'd probably laugh right in my face...it's **** a face when it gets laughed in.
There's an empty place next to her on the bench. There's no reason why I couldn't just go
over and sit there. I could do that right now. All I have to do is stand up...I'm standing
up!...I'm sitting down. I'm a coward. I'm so much of a coward, she wouldn't even think of
looking at me. She hardly ever does look at me. In fact, I can't remember her ever looking
at me. Why shouldn't she look at me? Is there any reason in the world why she shouldn't
look at me? Is she so great, and I'm so small, that she can't spare one little
moment?...SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! SHE'S LOOKING AT ME!! (he puts his lunchbag
over his head.) ...Lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. If that little redheaded girl is looking at me with this stupid bag over my head she must think I'm the
biggest fool alive. But, if she isn't looking at me, then maybe I could take it off quickly
and she'd never notice it. On the other hand...I can't tell if she's looking, until I take it off!
Then again, if I never take it off I'll never have to know if she was looking or not. On the
other hand...it's very hard to breathe in here. (he removes sack) Whew! She's not looking
at me! I wonder why she never looks at me? Oh well, another lunch hour over with...only
2,863 to go.