Jule Romans is a reworn down English teacher and also college instructor. She has actually taught Shakespeare and progressed literature for over 25 years.

You are watching: Which statement best describes the difference between a monologue and a soliloquy?


Soliloquy, aside, monologue, and also dialogue are four various dramatic gadgets provided by timeless playwcivil liberties. Shakespeare’s plays provide the ideal examples for discovering about these 4 devices.

Dialogue and monologue are a lot of often used to development the action of a play. Soliloquy and also aside are gadgets often supplied to reveal insights around individual personalities, specifically in Shakespeare plays.

It is most basic to research examples of soliloquies and also asides in Shakespeare’s tragedies. Monologues and dialogue are simple to spot in nearly any type of type of play.

For our functions, we will certainly study them all in the context of 3 of Shakespeare’s best-known plays: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and also Macbeth.

Key Features of Soliloquy, Aside, Monologue, and Dialogue


Longer speechOne characterNo others on phase can hear what is saidReveals inner thoughts or motives of a character


Shorter commentOne characterNo others on stage deserve to hear what is saidComments on the activity of the playReveals judgments or covert keys.


Longer speechOne characterOthers onphase can hear what is said and respond to it.Typically reveals previous eventsExlevels a character’s choice of action.


Shorter or longer speechesBetween 2 chanractersAmongst many type of personalities.Others onstage have the right to hear and also respond.


Hamlet's monologue to the players

Władysław Czachórski , by means of Wikimedia Commons

Soliloquies and also asides CANNOT be heard by the other personalities onstage.

Soliloquy, Aside, Monologue, and also Dialogue

Soliloquies and Asides

Soliloquies and also asides expose concealed thoughts, disputes, secrets, or motives. Asides are shorter than soliloquies, usually just one or 2 lines. Soliloquies are longer speeches, a lot like monologues, yet even more personal.

Soliloquies and also asides CANNOT be heard by the various other personalities onphase. Soliloquies and asides are spoken directly to the audience, or as private words to the self.

These two show up even more regularly in Shakespeare’s plays than in modern or modern plays. They likewise show up in many kind of other classical functions of dramatic literature, consisting of Greek tragedy and also Melodrama.

Monologues and Dialogue

Monologues and dialogue expose open up actions and thoughts that are witnessed by all. Dialogue is a bigger category, extending practically all kinds of interactions among personalities. It might even contain monologues as component of a scene. Many civilization are familiar through dialogue as the typical construction of a play.

Monologues and dialogue CAN be heard by the various other personalities onstage. Monologues and dialogue are spoken straight to various other characters onphase.

These 2 appear regularly in contemporary and also modern-day plays. They are exceptionally familiar to most civilization who watch plays and movies.

Monologues and also dialogues CAN be heard by the other characters onstage.

No one else hears

No one else hears

Other characters can hear and also respond

Character speaks straight to self

Character speaks straight to audience

Character speaks directly to other characters

Character occasionally speaks to audience

Character sometimes speaks to self

Other personalities may react

Longer speech

Shorter speech

Longer speech

Comparable to monologue

One or two lines

Similar to soliloquy

Reveals inner conflict

Reveals short judgments about other characters

Exlevels or tells a story

Reveals secrets or moral dilemmas

Reveals brief reaction to events

Advances activity of the play

What Is a Soliloquy?

A soliloquy is a much longer speech that a character offers onphase that no one else have the right to hear. No one other than the audience, that is. Soliloquies may be spoken straight to the audience.

Many frequently, a soliloquy is a character speaking to himself or herself. Even if other human being are present, they cannot hear what the character claims.

Only the audience and also that character can “hear” the words

In Shakespeare’s tragedies, the soliloquy constantly reveals somepoint about a dispute the character is facing.

Usually this is a moral conflict, and also it many often reflects a darker side of the character.

Soliloquy vs. Monologue

A Soliloquy is Private

The soliloquy normally reveals moral battles or interior tricks. A soliloquy is private, individual, and also often very emotional. In comparison with the monologue, a soliloquy is not meant to connect with other characters. It is completely focused on internal struggle.

A soliloquy is:

a much longer speechspoken to audience or to character’s private self,expected to be personal- various other personalities onstage CANNOT hear the interior thoughts expressed

A Monologue is Not Private

The monologue usually reveals occasions or personal opinions. While monologues may be emotional, they are even more concentrated on exterior determinants. In comparison with the soliloquy, a monologue is intfinished to interact straight with other personalities onstage.

A monologue is:

a longer speechspoken to other charactersintended to be interactive- various other personalities onphase CAN hear and respond to the thoughts expressed

Soliloquy in Macbeth

In Act 2, Scene 1 Macbeth stands alone in the castle. He hallucinates, and talks to the audience about what he sees. By the middle of the soliloquy, Macbeth is mostly talking to himself. Throughout, he images a dagger hanging in front of him, dripping via blood.

He admits that the vision is just encouraging him to go towards an activity he had actually currently planned—that is, to murder King Duncan.

As he proceeds through the soliloquy, Macbeth struggles via the violence he is about to undertake. At the finish, though, he has actually refixed the conflict, and also determines that he will certainly indeed murder the king that night.

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Is this a dagger which I check out before me, The manage towards my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have actually thee not, and yet I view thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? or art thou however A dagger of the mind, a false production, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain? I check out thee yet, in create as palpable As this which now I draw. Thou marshall'st me the method that I was going; And such an instrument I wregarding use.Mine eyes are made the fools o' the various other senses, Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still, And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, Which was not so prior to. There's no such thing:

This soliloquy is an excellent instance of a character resolving an inner problem so that the audience have the right to plainly see exactly how he renders a poor option. Even though he is alone onstage, the soliloquy reveals Macbeth’s innerthe majority of thoughts and also deepest keys. Another soliloquy that shows us more around Macbeth is recognized as the tomorrow soliloquy.

That is what makes this a soliloquy rather of just a monologue. It is spoken partly to the audience and partially to himself. No other personalities deserve to hear him. It illustprices inner struggle. In Macbeth, tright here are seven different soliloquies that expose the changes in his character throughout the play.

What Is an Aside?

An aside is a brief one or two-line comment that is made directly to the audience by a single character. No other personalities onstage have the right to hear the aside. In essence, the character “steps out” of the action to comment directly to the audience around what is happening in the play.

Most frequently, the aside is a quick commentary that shows a character’s personal opinions or reactions. The thoughts in an aside are personal, yet mutual with the audience. Generally, the aside likewise makes referral to the primary conflict of the play, however it does not always involve an individual ethical worry.

Aside vs. Soliloquy

An Aside is shorter, more straight, and also easy. Asides are usually spoken straight to audience . An aside points out an prompt dispute or issue

A Soliloquy is much longer, intricate, and even more complex. Soliloquies are usually spoken to self or God A soliloquy reveals an internal battle or moral dilemma.

An Aside in Hamlet

In Act 3 Scene 1 of Hamlet, Shakespeare uses an aside to straight reveal a character’s interior dispute and also battle through guilt.

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Claudius, the existing King of Denmark, is an evil murderer. The entire play of Hamlet revolves about the murder of Hamlet’s father, the deceased King of Dennote. In a ghostly revelation, Hamlet discovers that his uncle Claudius is the murderer.