Language

Difference Between Monologue and Dialogue

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Main Difference

The main difference between Monologue and Dialogue is that a Monologue is a speech given by a single character in a film, play, or as a part of some play or skit on stage or theater whereas Dialogue is a proper conversation between two people in a novel, drama or a film.

Monologue vs. Dialogue

In a monologue, a single character is involved, whereas in a dialogue involves more than one character. A monologue speaks at the people, whereas a dialogue speaks with the people. In a monologue, the character speaks aloud or expresses his thoughts in front of the audience, but the dialogue is a normal conversation between two people.

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The purpose of a monologue is to reveal the internal feelings and emotions of a character that would otherwise remain hidden, whereas in a whole dialogue situation is expressed by the interaction by different characters.

In a film, mostly technique of monologue is used to create the desired stylistic effect, but on the other hand, a drama is solely based on dialogues. Dialogues are the main items that help the viewers to get a vague idea about characters, conflict, and move the story in a forward direction.

Monologues are used less as compared to dialogues, or in simpler words, dialogues are used more widely as compared to monologues.

Comparison Chart

MonologueDialogue
A monologue is a speech that is given by a single character in a drama, film or stage playA dialogue proper conversation between two characters in a film, drama, story, etc.
Characters Involved
Single/one characterTwo or more characters
Purpose
It speaks at the people.It speaks with the people.
Component
A strong component in a filmA strong component in dramas and novels
Expression
Expressed before the beginning of an action or plotThe crux of any written or spoken discourse
Example
For example, ladies and gentlemen, etc.For example, as a dialogue from the famous Shakespeare’s novel, ‘a midnight summer’s dream’ is “the course of true love never did run smooth.”
Usage
Have less usageUsed widely
Style
Talking to oneselfThe joint creation of reality
Relationship With Poetry
Similar to poetry to some extentNowhere near to poetry
Similarity With Soliloquy
Similar to soliloquyNot similar to soliloquy
Types
ThreeFive
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What is Monologue?

In monologues, the characters mostly speak out their thoughts aloud as a way of telling people what they think. Also, the concept of the ‘inner voice’ of a human is shown through monologues as the characters are often shown talking to themselves.

Through monologues, the audience can guess the mental state of a character also the upcoming happenings in the story. This technique is very common in media, i.e., dramas and films. Monologues are very much similar to poetry as both of them involve a ‘voice’ speaking to the audience.

A monologue is also perceived by other characters on stage. It can also be called an extended part of a speech. The technique of using monologues in writing is not a new one Shakespeare also used this technique in his plays like hamlet and others.

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Types

  • Soliloquy Monologue: It is a monologue in which the character reveals his internal thoughts or feelings to himself.
  • Dramatic Monologue: A dramatic monologue is a speech given to the audience directly. The character speaks directly to the audience. It may be formal or informal.
  • Internal Monologue: It is an expression of internal feelings of a character in front of the audience. The audience may read or hear the internal thoughts of a character. It is also referred to as a ‘stream of consciousness.’ in a piece of writing, the internal monologues are in written form, whereas in a film or drama, they are in the form of spoken discourse.

What is Dialogue?

Dialogue is a normal conversation between two people. It may be in a written or spoken form. In dramas, films, and plays, the characters express their messages to the audience with the aid of dialogues. In such things, dialogues play a key role as the drama progresses forward through dialogues. The audience judges the characters as good or bad by their dialogues. In short, a dialogue is something that shapes up a character.

In a dialogue, more than two people are involved, but there is still a transfer of information going on between the characters. In a drama, novel, or film, the dialogue makes the audience understand what is happening and how the story will proceed in a forward direction.

Dialogues show the internal conflict between characters. They also introduce new characters. Dialogues explain the main plot of the story. Some dialogues introduce the main and leading characters of the story. They also distinguish between different characters.

Purpose

  • Characterization: The major purpose of a dialogue is to create characterization. The audience gets to know much about a character through his speech.
  • Plot: Secondly, a dialogue moves the plot in a forward direction. Interactions within, between, or among characters help to give the crux of the storyline to the audience.

Key Differences

  1. A monologue is a long speech by an actor in a play; on the other hand, a dialogue is a conversation between two or more actors.
  2. A monologue is used to express aloud the internal thought of an actor, whereas dialogue addresses the audience or other characters directly.
  3. A monologue is used in films, but in contrast, a dialogue is used in dramas, novels, and stories.
  4. The monologue may be termed as one-way communication, whereas dialogue is two-way communication.
  5. Monologues are used less as compared to dialogues.
  6. A monologue is similar to poetry, but the dialogue is not.

Conclusion

Monologue and Dialogue both are part of the language, the former spoken by a single character, whereas the latter is between two or more people.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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