Monologue: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A monologue (or monolog) is an extended uninterrupted speech by a character in a drama. The character may be speaking his or her thoughts aloud, directly addressing another character, or speaking to the audience, especially the former. Monologues are common across the range of dramatic media (plays, films, animation, etc.).


Comic monologue

The term "monologue" was used to describe a form of popular narrative verse, sometimes comic, often dramatic or sentimental, which was performed in music halls or in domestic entertainments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Famous examples include Idylls of the King, The Green Eye of the Yellow God and Christmas Day in the Workhouse.

The comic monologue has evolved into a regular feature of stand-up and television comedy. An "opening monologue" of a humorous nature is a typical segment of stand-up comedy and often forms a regular feature of television programmes (such as Friday Night with Jonathan Ross).

Famous comic monologists include Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, George Carlin, Jack Parr, Billy Connolly, Bill Cosby, Lord Buckley, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Rove McManus, Bob Hope, Stanley Holloway, Julius Tannen, George Robert Sims, Ellen DeGeneres, John Leguizamo, Chris Capone, Jerry Seinfeld, Don Rickles, Jimmy Kimmel, Dane Cook, George Lopez and Conan O'Brien. Some of the aforementioned performers often perform what is referred to as a "solo show", and some practitioners of this format wrestle with stories and themes which mix the comic and the dramatic, namely Spalding Gray, Garrison Keillor, Eric Bogosian and Taylor Swift.

See also



  • Cohn, Dorrit, Transparent Minds: Narrative Modes for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction, 1978.
  • Edwardes, Jane, The Faber Book of Monologues, Faber and Faber, 2005.
  • Hirsh, James, Shakespeare and the History of Soliloquies, Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003.

External links

Transmission of ideas
1 person to themselves, mental 1 person to themselves or to another without reply, verbal 2 or more people, verbal
Thought Monologue Dialogue

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MONOLOGUE (from Gr. µovos, alone, and Xoyos, speech), a passage in a dramatic piece in which a personage holds the scene to himself and speaks unconsciously aloud. The theory of the monologue is that the audience overhears the thoughts of one who believes himself to be alone, and who thus informs them of what would otherwise be unknown to them. The word is also used in cases when a character on the stage speaks at great length, even though not alone, but is listened to in silence by the other characters. The old-fashioned tragedies of the 17th and 18th centuries greatly affected this convention of the monologue, which has always, however, been liable to ridicule. There is something of a lyrical character about the monologue in verse; and this has been felt by some of the classic poets of France so strongly, that many of the examples in the tragedies of Corneille are nothing more or less than odes or cantatas. The monologues of Shakespeare, and those of Hamlet in particular, have a far more dramatic character, and are, indeed, essential to the development of the play. Equally important are those of Racine in Phedre and in Athalie. The French critics record, as the most ambitious examples of the monologue in two centuries, that of Figaro in Beaumarchais's Le Mariage de Figaro and that of Charles V. in Victor Hugo's Hernani, the latter extends to 160 lines. In the Elizabethan drama, the popularity of Kyd's Spanish Tragedy, in which Hieronymo spouts interminably, set a fashion for ranting monologues, which are very frequent in Shakespeare's immediate predecessors and contemporaries. After 1600 the practice was much reduced, and the tendency of solitary heroes to pour forth columns of blank verse was held in check by more complex stage arrangements. After the Restoration the classic tragedies of the English playwrights again abused the privilege of monologue to such a degree that it became absurd, and fell into desuetude.

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Simple English

A monologue is a long, uninterrupted speech or poem by one person. The person may be speaking his or her thoughts aloud or directly addressing other persons, e.g. an audience, a character, reader, or inanimate object.

The term 'dramatic monologue' is used both for monologues in plays and for the poetic genre.


A rant (also called harangue or declamation) is a monologue that does not present a well-researched and calm argument; rather, it is typically an attack on an idea, a person or an institution, and very often lacks proven claims.

Some rants are used not to attack something, but to defend an individual, idea or organization. Rants of this type generally occur after the subject has been attacked by another individual or group.

Rants are used often in situations requiring monologue. Comedians, such as Lewis Black, Adam Carolla, and Rick Mercer, use rants as a way to get their message or punch-line across to the listening audience.

A rant can be used to flame members of an email group or electronic mailing list that are failing to reach a consensus on an issue.

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