Soliloquy vs monologue

Photo of author


A soliloquy and a monologue are both spoken by one person, but there is a difference between the two. We’ll look at the meaning of soliloquy and monologue, where the words come from and examples of their use in sentences.

A soliloquy is a speech performed by a single character, usually in a play. In a soliloquy the character speaks his thoughts out loud, to himself. This literary device allows the audience to know what the character is thinking, though the other characters are not present and therefore do not know this information. Shakespeare is famous for his soliloquies. Perhaps the best known soliloquy in the English language is delivered by Hamlet and begins, “To be or not to be, that is the question…” The word soliloquy comes from the Latin word soliloquium, meaning a talking to oneself. Remember, a soliloquy involves a character speaking his thoughts to himself, he is not speaking directly to anyone, including the audience. The plural form is soliloquies.

A monologue is a speech spoken by one character, usually in a play. A character delivering a monologue may be speaking to other characters in the play or to the audience. The monologue is used extensively in reality and faux-reality movies and television shows such as Survivor and The Office. The word monologue comes from the Greek word monologos, which means speaking alone. Remember, a monologue is a speech that a character gives to an audience, either inside or outside of the play. One may assume that a character delivering a soliloquy is telling the truth, while a character delivering a monologue may be telling the truth or may be manipulating his audience. The plural of monologue is monologues.


“I start doing one soliloquy and I say something from another soliloquy,” he said, also noting that working on making sure he gets everything correct and in the proper place “is going well.” (The Prescott Valley Tribune)

Actress Kalki Koechlin, known for her bold stances on feminism and commitment towards womens rights and gender equality, will be presenting a theatrical monologue titled “wo-manologue” at an event here on September 12. (The Indian Express)