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A MONOLOGUE (OR MONOLOG) is when the character may be speaking his or her

thoughts aloud, directly addressing another character, or speaking to the audience, especially the
former. Monologues are common across the range of dramatic media (plays, films, animation,
etc.). It is distinct from a soliloquy, which is where a character relates his or her thoughts and
feelings to him/herself and to the audience without addressing any of the other characters.[1]

Comic monologue
The term "monologue" was actually used to describe a form of popular narrative verse,
sometimes comic, often dramatic or sentimental, which was performed in music halls or in
domestic entertainments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Characters would
break out, announcing their thoughts to themselves. Famous examples include Idylls of the
King, The Green Eye of the Yellow God and Christmas Day in the Workhouse.
The comic monologue has evolved into a regular feature of stand-up and television comedy. An
"opening monologue" of a humorous subject is a typical segment of stand-up comedy.

Comic Monologue Samples

Comic Monologue for a man


A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare
PAROLLES: It is not politic in the commonwealth of nature to preserve virginity. Loss of
virginity is rational increase, and there was never virgin got till virginity was first lost. That you
were made of is metal to make virgins. Virginity by being once lost may be ten times found; by
being ever kept is ever lost. 'Tis too cold a companion. Away with't! 'Tis against the rule of
nature. To speak on the part of virginity is to accuse your mothers, which is most infallible
disobedience. He that hangs himself is a virgin; virginity murders itself, and should be buried in
highways out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds
mites, much like a cheese, consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own
stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited
sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by't. Out with't! Within ten year it will
make itself ten, which is a goodly increase, and the principal itself not much the worse. Away
with't! 'Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying: the longer kept, the less worth. Off with't
while 'tis vendible; answer the time of request. Virginity, like an old courtier, wears her cap out
of fashion, richly suited, but unsuitable, just like the brooch and the toothpick, which wear not
now. Your date is better in your pie and your porridge than in your cheek; and your virginity,
your old virginity, is like one of our French withered pears: it looks ill, it eats drily. Marry, 'tis a
withered pear; it was formerly better; marry, yet 'tis a withered pear! Will you anything with it?
Comic Monologue for a Woman

A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare
PHEBE: I would not by thy executioner.
I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye:
'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable
That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,
Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
Should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers.
Now I do frown on thee with all my heart,
And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee.
Now counterfeit to swound; why, not fall down;
Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers.
Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee;
Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
Some scar of it; lean upon a rush,
The cicatrice and capable impressure
Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,
Nor I am sure there is no force in eyes
That can do hurt.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A dramatic monologue is a piece of performed writing that offers great insight into the feelings
of the speaker. Not to be confused with a soliloquy in a play (which the character speaking
speaks to themselves), dramatic monologues suggest an auditor or auditors. The dramatic
monologue is now understood to include short pieces of prose written for performance.

Features of the Dramatic Monologue

M. H. Abrams notes the following three features of the dramatic monologue as it applies to
A single person, who is patently not the poet, utters the speech that makes up the whole of the
poem, in a specific situation at a critical moment […].
This person addresses and interacts with one or more other people; but we know of the auditors'
presence, and what they say and do, only from clues in the discourse of the single speaker.
The main principle controlling the poet's choice and formulation of what the lyric speaker says is
to reveal to the reader, in a way that enhances its interest, the speaker's temperament and

Dramatic Monologue Samples

A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare
ANTONY: All is lost!
This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me:
My fleet hath yielded to the foe, and yonder
They cast their caps up and carouse together
Like friends long lost. Triple-turned whore! 'tis thou
Has sold me to this novice, and my heart
Makes only wars on thee. Bid them all fly;
For when I am revenged upon my charm,
I have done all. Bid them all fly, begone.
O sun, thy uprise shall I see no more.
Fortune and Antony part here, even here
Do we shake hands. All come to this? The hearts
That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave
Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
On blossoming Caesar; and this pine is barked,
That overtopped them all. Betrayed I am.
O this false soul of Egypt! this grave charm,
Whose eye becked forth my wars, and called them home,
Whose bosom was my crownet, my chief end,
Like a right gypsy hath at fast and loose
Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
What, Eros, Eros! [Enter Cleopatra.] Ah, thou spell! Avaunt!
Vanish, or I shall give thee thy deserving
And blemish Caesar's triumph. Let him take thee
And hoist thee up to the shouting plebeians;
Follow his chariot, like the greatest spot
Of all thy sex. Most monster-like be shown
For poor'st diminitives, for dolts, and let
Patient Octavia plough thy visage up
With her preparèd nails. [Exit Cleopatra.] 'Tis well th' art gone,
If it be well to live; but better 'twere
Thou fell'st into my fury, for one death
Might have prevented many. Eros, ho!
The shirt of Nessus is upon me; teach me,
Alcides, thou mine ancestor, thy rage.
Let me lodge Lichas on the horns o' th' moon
And with those hands that grasped the heaviest club
Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die.
To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall
Under his plot: she dies for 't. Eros, ho!

Dramatic Monologue for a Woman

A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare
ADRIANA: Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown.
Some other mistress hath thy sweet aspects;
I am not Adriana, nor thy wife.
The time was once when thou unurged wouldst vow
That never words were music to thine ear,
That never object pleasing in thine eye,
That never touch well welcome to thy hand,
That never meat sweet-savored in thy taste,
Unless I spake, or looked, or touched, or carved to thee.
How comes it now, my husband, O, how comes it,
That thou art then estrangèd from thyself?
Thyself I call it, being strange to me,
That, undividable, incorporate,
Am better than thy dear self's better part.
Ah, do not tear away thyself from me!
For know, my love, as easy mayst thou fall
A drop of water in the breaking gulf,
And take unmingled thence that drop again
Without addition of diminishing,
As take from me thyself and not me too.
How dearly would it touch thee to the quick,
Shouldst thou but hear I were licentious,
And that this body, consecrate to thee,
By ruffian lust should be contaminate!
Wouldst thou not spit at me, and spurn at me,
And hurl the name of husband in my face,
And tear the stained skin off my harlot-brow,
And from my false hand cut the wedding-ring,
And break it with a deep-divorcing vow?
I know thou canst, and therefore see thou do it.
I am possessed with an adulterate blot;
My blood is mingled with the crime of lust.
For if we two be one, and thou play false,
I do digest the poison of thy flesh,
Being strumpeted by thy contagion.
Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed;
I live disdained, thou undishonorèd.

Types of monologues
One of the most important influences on the development of the dramatic monologue are
the Romantic poets. The long, personal lyrics typical of the Romantic period are not dramatic
monologues, in the sense that they do not, for the most part, imply a concentrated narrative.
However, poems such as William Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey and Percy Bysshe Shelley's Mont
Blanc, to name two famous examples, offered a model of close psychological observation and
philosophical or pseudo-philosophical inquiry described in a specific setting.
The novel, and plays have also been important influences on the dramatic monologue,
particularly as a means of characterisation. Dramatic monologues are a way of expressing the
views of a character and offering the audience greater insight into that character's feelings.
Dramatic monologues can also be used in novels to tell stories, as in Mary
Shelley's Frankenstein, and to implicate the audience in moral judgments, as in Albert
Camus' The Fall and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Monologues are also linked with soliliquys- Such as in Macbeth, when Lady Macbeth reads a
letter to herself and then speaks her thoughts as though she is thinking.

The Victorian Period

The Victorian period represented the high point of the dramatic monologue in English poetry.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Ulysses, published in 1842, has been called the first true dramatic
monologue. After Ulysses, Tennyson's most famous efforts in this vein are Tithonus, The Lotus
Eaters,and St. Simon Stylites, all from the 1842 Poems; later monologues appear in other
volumes, notably Idylls of the King.
Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach and Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse are famous, semi-
autobiographical monologues. The former, usually regarded as the supreme expression of the
growing skepticism of the mid-Victorian period, was published along with the later in
1867's New Poems.
Robert Browning is usually credited with perfecting the form; certainly, Browning is the poet
who, above all, produced his finest and most famous work in this form. While My Last
Duchess is the most famous of his monologues, the form dominated his writing career. Fra
Lippo Lippi, Caliban upon Setebos, Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister and Porphyria's Lover, as
well as the other poems in Men and Women are just a handful of Browning's monologues.
Other Victorian poets also used the form. Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote several,
including Jenny and The Blessed Damozel; Christina Rossetti wrote a number, including The
Convent Threshold.Algernon Charles Swinburne's Hymn to Proserpine has been called a
dramatic monologue vaguely reminiscent of Browning's work.

Dramatic Monologue for a man or a woman

A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare
JAQUES: All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.