What is an example of a soliloquy, a monologue, aside, and stage direction in The Crucible?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1. A soliloquy is a dramatic or literary device demonstrated by a speaker speaking to himself.  In Shakespearean drama, soliloquies are normally lengthy, but in modern drama such as The Crucible, they are not always so long.  The Crucible does not have many soliloquies, but one example is at the end of Act 2, when John Proctor turns from Mary Warren and faces the open sky as he declares,

"Peace. It is a providence, and no great change; we are only what we always were, but naked now. . . Aye, naked! And the wind, God's icy wind will blow!"

2. A monologue is similar to a soliloquy but can also be a lengthy speech by one person in which he/she monopolizes a conversation.  Judge Danforth is guilty of monologues.  In the middle of Act 3, when Proctor, Francis Nurse, and Giles Corey address the court, Danforth issues several diatribes (or monologues). He loses his temper with Rev. Hale's questioning his court and states,

"Mr. Hale, believe me; for a man of such terrible learning you are much bewildered . . ."

He continues on recounting what is common knowledge and then a short time later lapses into another monologue when he lectures Mary Warren.

3.  An aside is normally made by a character for the audience to hear but not for others to hear.  Elizabeth's last words of the play can be considered an aside.  While she is responding to Rev. Hale's pleas for her to "save" John, she also sums up John's decision as she cries,

"He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him" (Act 4).

4.  Miller's modern drama is rife with stage directions.  Almost all of the italicized lines of The Crucible are stage directions. For example, at the beginning of Act 1, Miller directs,

"As the curtain rises, Reverend Parris is discovered kneeling beside the bed, evidently in prayer."

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The Crucible

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