Soliloquy is a popular literary device that is used in drama in order to bring out the innermost thoughts of a character. It is a useful technique used to project the progression of action in a play by expressing a specific character’s thoughts about another character or some event from the past, present or the future. It is often used as a mode of character manifestation or revelation to the audience of the play. It occurs through a character talking to him or herself without any acknowledgement of the presence of any other individual. The term originates from the Latin ‘solo’ meaning ‘to himself’ and ‘loquor’ meaning ‘I speak’
An example would be in Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlow, where in the first soliloquy the author summarizes the motives, intentions and other details of Faustus’ life before the beginning of the action.
An aside is short comment or speech delivered by a character by directly addressing the audience or himself. The other characters on stage appear not to hear this delivery and it seems as if the audience is alone listening to it. An aside can be defined as a short commentary about what happens in the play. It reveals private opinions and reactions of the character narrating. It refers to major conflicts in the play, which might or might not be of the personal sort.
An example for this would be one from Macbeth by William Shakespeare
“Time thou anticipat’st my dread exploits.
The flighty purpose never is o’ertook
Unless the deed go with it. From this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand.”
The speech is given by Macbeth reveals that the character has lost his sense of moral and is going to attack MacDuff’s castle and kill his family even though he feels regret doing so.
Monologue is a literary device that is delivered by a single character to express their collection of thoughts, intentions, and ideas aloud. Such a character speaks directly to the audience often or to another character. The term originated from the Greek words ‘monos’ meaning ‘alone’ and ‘logos’ meaning ‘speech’. It can be found in both dramatic media like plays and films and also non-dramatic media like poetry.
There are 2 types of monologues:
1. Interior monologue, where the character externalizes his thoughts to the audience, known as ‘ stream of consciousness’. This can be further broken into direct and indirect.
2. Dramatic monologue, where the character speaks to a silent listener on stage and is mostly used in poetry.
An example of a monologue would be ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S.Eliot. The entire poem is written in the form of a dramatic monologue.
Dialogue is a literary device used by authors in order to employ characters in conversation. It s a conversational passage in literature or a spoken or written exchange of conversation between individuals or a group, directed towards a particular subject. Several philosophers have also used dialogue for purposes of rhetoric or arguments.
There are 2 kind of dialogue:
1. Inner dialogue, where the characters reveal their individual personalities and writers employ techniques like ‘stream of consciousness’. This is generally found in works of Virginia Wolf, James Joyce and many more.
2. Outer monologue, where it is a simple conversation between characters.
An example of this is ‘A Dialogue Between Caliban and Ariel’ by John Fuller.
Cal. “Have you no visions that you cannot name?”
Ar. “A picture should extend beyond its frame,
There being no limitation
To bright reality:
For all their declaration
Words cannot see.”
This is a poem written in the form of a dialogue between the characters Caliban and Ariel.
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