Monologues vs. Soliloquys

Monologues vs. Soliloquies
• Definition- from the Greek monos (“single”)
and legein (“ to speak”) – is a speech given by
a single person to an audience.
Monologue Example
• Antony delivers a well-known monologue to
the people of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. You
probably know how it starts: “Friends,
Romans, countrymen lend me your ears; I
come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The
evil that men do lives after them; The good is
oft interred with their bones: So let it be with
Other Examples of Monologues
• Samwise Gamgee to Frodo
– In The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien
• O’Brien’s
– George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty – Four
• Elizabeth’s
– Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein
• Definition – from the Latin solus (“alone”) and
loqui (“to Speak”) – is a speech that one gives
to oneself. In a play, a character delivering a
soliloquy talks to themselves – thinking out
loud, as it were – so that the audience better
understands what is happening to the
character internally.
Soliloquy Example
The most well-known soliloquy in the English
language appears in Act III, Scene 1 of Hamlet:
“To be, or not to be, - that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?”
Other Examples of Soliloquy
• Juliet’s
– “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”
• Macbeth’s
– “Is this a dagger which I see before me?”
• Valjean’s Les Miserables
• Tony’s soliloquies (songs)
– Something’s Coming, Maria
– From West Side Story