(redirected from monologues)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to monologues: dramatic monologues


an extended speech by one person only. Strindberg's one-act play The Stronger, spoken entirely by one person, is an extreme example of monologue. Soliloquy is synonymous, but usually refers to a character in a play talking or thinking aloud to himself, giving the audience information essential to the plot. The most obvious example is Hamlet's "To be or not to be …" soliloquy. The dramatic monologue is a lyric poem in which one person speaks, reporting to a silent listener what other characters say and do, while providing insight into his own character, e.g., Browning's "My Last Duchess" and T. S. Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Interior monologue is a narrative technique meant to reproduce a character's thoughts, feelings, and associations in the untidy fashion in which they flow through the mind. The Molly Bloom section at the end of James Joyce's novel Ulysses is the most frequently cited example of perfect use of the device.



(soliloquy), a form of speech which, unlike the dialogue, is completely or almost completely disassociated in both content and structure from the speech of an interlocutor. Compared to the repartee of the dialogue, the monologue is much more conventional in the choice of linguistic, compositional, and other resources, and as a rule, it has a more complex syntax. Because the monologue is encountered extremely rarely in everyday communication, L. V. Shcherba suggests that historically it was derived from the dialogue.

Monologues are used primarily in literature, speechmaking, television and radio broadcasts, and the classroom (lectures). In its linguistic, structural, and compositional organization, the monologue is far more complex than other speech forms. Its special features are studied in textual linguistics, which deals with the problem of the complex syntactical whole, the paragraph, and so forth.

In literature and the theater the monologue may be pan of an artistic work or a genre in itself. On stage or in motion pictures, the monologue is addressed by a character either to himself or to the audience and is divorced from the dialogue of the other characters. Often, the monologue is used to express the hero’s lyrical, philosophical, intimate, or polemical outpourings or his personal beliefs (the famous “To be or not to be” of Shakespeare’s Hamlet or “I cannot come to, I’m wrong” of Griboedov’s Chatskii) or to present events that preceded the play’s action or that are taking place offstage.

The monologue is characteristic of classical, baroque, Renaissance, and Neoclassical drama. It is particularly common in romantic drama, and it is encountered in monodrama and in contemporary nonrealistic drama. A special form of monologue-confession or monologue-exhortation is the lyric poem, especially the subjective lyric, which directly communicates the poet’s feelings and experiences. Narrative genres are often in the form of monologues—for example, the short story written in the first person, including the skaz (a story narrated by a fictional person whose point of view and manner of speech—often substandard—differ from the author’s; in Russian literature, the form was used by N. Leskov and M. Zoshchenko). However, “alien” words (elements of parody and polemics) are often present in the monologic narrative, bringing it closer to dialogue. The “internal monologue” or “stream of consciousness” became an important means of psychological characterization in realistic literature at the turn of the 20th century.


Voloshinov, V. N. [With the participation of M. M. Bakhtin.] Marksizm i filosofiia iazyka, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1930.
Vol’kenshtein, V. Dramaturgiia. Moscow, 1969.
Bakhtin, M. M. “Slovo u Dostoevskogo.” In his book Problemy poetiki Dostoevskogo, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1972.
Korman, B. O. “Chuzhoe soznanie v lirike…. “Izvestiia AN SSSR: Otdelenie literatury i iazyka, vol. 32, 1973, issue 3.


1. a long speech made by one actor in a play, film, etc., esp when alone
2. a dramatic piece for a single performer
References in periodicals archive ?
Critique: Compiled and edited by Stephen Fife, "One on One: The Best Monologues for Mature Actors" is an impressive compilation of speeches drawn from a wide diversity of theatrical sources and deftly organized into two major sections: Monologues for Women; Monologues for Men.
Influencers partnering with Hanes for this year's Mammogram Monologues include Colleen Shibley of Shibley Smiles, Nicole Feliciano of Mom Trends, Jyl Pattee of Mom It Forward, Tayna Gordon of Mommy Goggles, Kat Bouska of Mama's Losin' It, Shannon Gosney of The Mommy-Files and Susan Carraretto of 5 Minutes for Mom.
The Vagina Monologues will be performed at Warwick SU Copper Rooms 1 tomorrow, Tin Music and Arts Centre, Canal Basin, Coventry on March 7 and Ei8ht Bar and Bistro, 8 High Street, Leamington on March 8.
At the age of 24, Hollie-Jay Bowes is the youngest of the Vagina Monologues cast, though certainly not the shyest.
The set-up is simple: three ladies, of varying ages, deliver monologues about different women's relationships with their most personal parts whilst also allowing lively discussion and laughs aplenty with the audience.
A One day I was just curious as to how many monologues there were.
Tahrir Monologues was conceived based on this simple statement, because who better than Egyptians themselves could tell the stories of the 18 days of the uprising and record the history of the revolution?
The Thespians are staging six of Bennett's Talking Heads series of monologues.
102 Great Monologues: A Versatile Collection of Monologues and Duologues for Student Actors" is a collection of short scripts for actors to do alone or in pairs, ideal for training, auditions, and much more, these passages are to the point and channel many a situation and emotion to practice.
The six-strong cast deliver the witty, heart-warming, sensual script with monologues dedicated to women, from war-torn Bosnia to a New York cancer centre.
00 The Return of The Vagina Monologues celebrates womanhood through a series of monologues which were written following interviews with women across the globe.
Works will include selections from Blocker's established plays as well as several new monologues and performance pieces.