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a. a speech, usually in verse, addressed to the audience by an actor at the end of a play
b. the actor speaking this
2. a short postscript to any literary work, such as a brief description of the fates of the characters in a novel



(1) In drama, an address to the audience at the end of a work, containing, for example, a moral or a request for the audience’s indulgence.

(2) In novels, novellas, and poems of modern times, a narrative about the fate of the characters, usually several years after the events in the denouement. Less often, an epilogue discusses moral, philosophical, or aesthetic aspects of the work, as in L. N. Tolstoy’s War and Peace, or gives some information about the author, as in A. S. Pushkin’s The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.

References in periodicals archive ?
1) The matter of determining to which production the prologue and epilogue belonged, however, is more complex than Bancroft suggests; and whether they did indeed belong to the 1664 production is far from certain.
Both the prologue and epilogue spoken by Marshall exist among the compilation for the all-female revival of Philaster by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in June 1672.
This would explain some of the inconsistencies in the epilogues.
Other court epilogues are physically interactive; they force the monarch to enter their semi-fiction by presenting him or her with a gift.
5) For epilogues as generally the preserve of first performances only, see Stern, 81-119.
Comedies were to teach a moral, though the moral was given only in the prologues and epilogues.
New, at least to me, is Danchin's observation that Masonic prologues and epilogues became common in the 1720s; and even more interesting, he relates the development of English pantomime and ballad opera to performances given in theatrical booths set up at the two annual Paris fairs which, after 1710, were obliged to abandon speech.
What are the conditions under which one writer contributed prologues or epilogues for another?
Epilogues were rarely written after the 18th century.
3) Tiffany Stern, studying the speeches in printed dramas that would have been performed in London on the stages of the commercial theatres, suggests that prologues and epilogues were a 'temporary form' that convey 'just how local and detailed the critiques [of plays] could be'.
I hope to show that prologues and epilogues of this amateur dramatist are as significant as those addressed by Bruster and Weimann, Stern, and Schneider; the Arbury plays feature 'enunciations' as complex as those made by plays of the professional theatre.
That Betty Goodfield, a character that fits into the same line, should have been given to her seems only logical, and the possibility that this was so is strengthened by an allusion in the Epilogue to Thomas Durfey's Madam Fickle (1676).