Literary Term Dramatic Monologue

Literary Term Dramatic Monologue

A dramatic monologue is a form of poetry in which a single speaker speaks to a silent listener or listeners. This speaker reveals his thoughts, feelings, motivations, and experiences in a specific situation or moment. Dramatic monologues are commonly used in poetry and drama. This offers a powerful way to explore a character’s inner thoughts and emotions. Some famous examples include Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess” and T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.”

Characteristics of Dramatic Monologue: A Dramatic monologue is a unique form of poetry or literature where a character delivers a speech or narrative to an audience. Some key characteristics include.

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  1. Single Speaker: There’s typically only one character speaking throughout the entire piece. He reveals his thoughts, feelings, motivations, and experiences in a specific situation or moment.
  2. Silent Listener: The speaker addresses someone, whether an individual, a group, or even the reader. This audience or listener always remains silent.
  3. Revealing Nature: It reveals the speaker’s thoughts, emotions, motives, and often their flaws. This provides a deep insight into their mentality.
  4. Abrupt Beginning: A dramatic monologue starts abruptly without any introduction.
  5. Use of Colloquial Language: Colloquial Language means conversational language. In a dramatic monologue, the speaker seems to speak with its listeners.
  6. Exploration of Themes: Dramatic monologues often delve into identity, morality, guilt, love, or societal issues. This uses the character’s speech to explore and discuss these topics.

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  1. Use of Literary Devices: Poetic devices such as meter, rhyme, and imagery are employed to enhance the emotional impact and rhythm of the monologue.
  2. Character Development: Through the monologue, the character’s personality, background, and internal conflicts are revealed. This leads to a deeper understanding of who he is.
Riya Akter
Riya Akter
Hey, This is Riya Akter Setu, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.


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