What is an example of a monologue in Julius Caesar and its importance?

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A monologue is simply an extended speech by a single character on stage. The term derives from the Greek mono, meaning one, and logos, meaning speech. Several of William Shakespeare's plays have drama that relies heavily on the delivery on monologues, and such sections are studied extensively today.

Doubtless the most important monologue in Julius Caesar and certainly one of Shakespeare's most famous monologues today is the speech of Marc Anthony to the Romans. This is a critical turning point in the play. Brutus has succeeded in calming the Romans when he foolishly concedes to allowing Marc Anthony to speak at Caesar's funeral. This ultimately leads to the undoing of Brutus and all of the conspirators, as Anthony delivers such a stirring speech that it turns the Romans against them.

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The literary term "monologue" derives from two Greek terms, monos (one) and logos (speech). Thus a monologue is an extended speech by a single character. The term soliloquy is used when a character is alone on stage or appears to be speaking to him or herself rather than to another character. A monologue may be addressed to another character and may not. In other words, all soliloquies are monologues but not all monologues are soliloquies. An example of an important monologue in Julius Caesar is the speech by Marc Antony beginning:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

which turns the tide of public opinion against the conspirators.


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