Give a short and simple definition of "Dramatic Monologue" with at least one example.   

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shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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A dramatic monologue is text meant to be spoken by a character in a play, but sometimes this device is used as the "speaking voice" of dramatic poem or verse.  The monologue reveals a character's point of view or his/her feelings and should reveal something new to the audience or reader about that character.  A monologue is different than dialogue in that it is not a back and forth conversation between two or more characters.  It also differs from a soliloquy which is spoken by a single character who is alone onstage.  A monologue is spoken by a character when other characters are present onstage.

Here's a monologue spoken by Olga from Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters, the first speech at the very beginning of Act One.


It's just a year since father died last May the fifth, on your name-day, Irina. It was very cold then, and snowing. I thought I would never survive it, and you were in a dead faint. And now a year has gone by and we are already thinking about it without pain, and you are wearing a white dress and your face is happy. [Clock strikes twelve] And the clock struck just the same way then. [Pause] I remember that there was music at the funeral, and they fired a volley in the cemetery. He was a general in command of a brigade but there were few people present. Of course, it was raining then, raining hard, and snowing.

Hope this helps!


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