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is a device often used in drama whereby a character relates his or her thoughts and feelings to him/herself and to the audience without addressing any of the other characters, and is delivered often when they are alone or think they are alone. Soliloquy is distinct from monologue
In theatre, a monologue is a speech presented by a single character, most often to express their thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience. Monologues are common across the range of dramatic media...
An aside is a dramatic device in which a character speaks to the audience. By convention the audience is to realize that the character's speech is unheard by the other characters on stage. It may be addressed to the audience expressly or represent an unspoken thought. An aside is usually a brief...
. Soliloquies are similar to, yet distinct from a monologue which is an exclusive view of a character's dramatized action within a play-world, typically addressing another character or group of characters.
Soliloquies were frequently used in poetic dramas; dramas in prose tend to use a more realistic speaking style and rarely if ever feature them. The plays of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...
feature many soliloquies. Many of Richard III's lines in "The Tragedy of Richard III" are soliloquies, as are Iago's direct addresses in "Othello" wherein the villains try to entrap the audience as they do the characters on stage. Macbeth's "Tomorrow and tomorrow
"Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" is the beginning of the second sentence of one of the most famous soliloquies in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth. It is the response of the protagonist, Macbeth, to the news of his wife's death...
" speech and Juliet's "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" are other famous examples of Shakespearean soliloquies (although Juliet's speech is overheard by Romeo, she believes that she is alone with her thoughts when she delivers it; it is in the essence of a soliloquy).