Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world


“Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world” is a line from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1. Pretending to be Prince Hal, Jack Falstaff pleads with Prince Hal not to banish him when he becomes King of England. Hal’s reply foreshadows his actions later in Henry IV, Part 2. He coldly states: “I do; I will.”

While Prince Hal must banish his gormandizing friend, students at MSA welcomed Jack Falstaff open armed to stage during the annual ESU Shakespeare Monologue competition held on Friday in the chapel. Nearly one-third of the recitations were monologues by fat Jack Falstaff—both from the Henry plays as well as Merry Wives of Windsor.


This year, Maddie Kurtz performed the winning monologue. She spellbound the audience and impressed the judges as Katherine from Taming of the Shrew. Maddie will represent MSA at the regional ESU Shakespeare Monologue competition at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton.


In accordance with tradition, the students voted for a teacher to place in the stocks. This year Mr. Barczewksi took the honors.

The Charlottesville Branch of the English Speaking Union supports an annual Shakespeare Monologue competition for students in the area. MSA students have been participating in the competition since 2007. 


About ESU Shakespeare Competition

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition provides teachers across the country with a performance-based program for the study of English Language Arts and Shakespeare. It is a school-based program serving Grades 9-12. Through the Competition, students develop communication skills and an appreciation of the power of language and literature. The Competition has engaged more than 300,000 young people since its inception in 1983.


Through the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, students:

  • develop essential skills: critical thinking, close reading and public speaking

  • increase self-confidence through reading, analysis and performance of Shakespeare

  • explore the beauty of Shakespeare's language and classic themes

  • bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity

  • meet local, state and national standards in English Language Arts and Drama.

Students read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: at the school, community and national levels. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been recognized by the Globe Center (USA), the Children's Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement. Many distinguished judges have served on the Competition panels.




Apply to Miller School of Albemarle! Leap into an education where you will find opportunities for discovery and reflection by engaging your mind, hands, and heart.