Difference Between Monologue and Soliloquy

Main Difference

If one have ever seen a drama and theater, he/she would have seen appliance of both these literary terms, even without knowing what actually they are. Monologue and Soliloquy are the literary devices that are used in plays, dramas to entertain the audience. Monologue is the long tedious speech given by a character in drama that is meant to be heard by both the audience and the co-performers. It is the dialogue being hurled at the character within the drama or it is the dialogue spoken by one to express his/her inner thoughts and let audience understand the circumstances of the play. On the other hand, Soliloquy is the self-talking or expression of inner thoughts of that specific character that are only meant for the audience and the other characters perform as they are unaware of these talks or dialogues. It is character’s inner thoughts, which are extended for the audience ‘s better understanding and adaptation of the scene.

Comparison Chart

MonologueSoliloquy
Definition with ExplanationMonologue is the long tedious speech given by a character in drama that is meant to be heard by both the audience and the co-performers.Soliloquy is the self-talking or expression of inner thoughts of that specific character that are only meant for the audience and the other characters perform as they are unaware of these talks or dialogues.
Derived fromMonologue comprises of derivation of two Greek words, ‘monos’ meaning single or solitary and ‘legein’, which means to speak.Soliloquy is derived from the Latin word ‘solus’ which means alone and the Greek word ‘loqui’, which means to speak.

What is Monologue?

It is the literary device, which is widely used in dramas, plays or even in other non-dramatic literature like poetry. Simply when characters came up with conversation or change of dialogues it is monologue. Actually, it is the long speech or dialogue of one character that is generally meant for both the audience and the other co-characters. Monologue is even the part of conversation of characters or and individual speaks it to make sure the audience is getting well into the scene. It is the speech, which is actually being spoken out loud even if they are the inner thoughts of the character. Monologue comprises of derivation of two Greek words, ‘monos’ meaning single or solitary and ‘legein’, which means to speak. Generally there are two types of monologues, interior monologue and dramatic monologue. Dramatic monologue refers to the ongoing conversion of the characters according to the flow of drama and internal monologue refers to character’s individual speech that are his/her internal thoughts and are performed out as a dialogue by that character so the audience could better know the story and unfold about the further coming scenes.

What is Soliloquy?

It is the literary device, which is also used widely in dramas and other non-dramatic literature. It is actually the speech of an individual character with him/herself, or we can say that it is the self talking of the character that remains unheard by the other fellow characters and is aimed for the audience’s listening purpose so they can better know that one is internally going on in an individuals mind. The other characters of the drama, play are unaware of these dialogues as they are internal thoughts which one is discussing with himself/herself. They are meant for the audience purpose so they can better understand what’s going in the mind of character and what next he/she is going to do. In many of the dramas or plays, soliloquy is used by the antagonist as it reveals the audience what conspiracy and antagonist will be up with. Soliloquy is derived from the Latin word ‘solus’ which means alone and the Greek word ‘loqui’, which means to speak. It literally means to speaking alone or with oneself.

Monologue vs. Soliloquy

  • Monologue is the long tedious speech given by a character in drama that is meant to be heard by both the audience and the co-performers, whereas soliloquy is the self-talking or expression of inner thoughts of that specific character that are only meant for the audience and the other characters perform as they are unaware of these talks or dialogues.
  • Monologue comprises of derivation of two Greek words, ‘monos’ meaning single or solitary and ‘legein’, which means to speak. On the other hand, soliloquy is derived from the Latin word ‘solus’ which means alone and the Greek word ‘loqui’, which means to speak.
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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