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Soliloquy

From Academic Kids

Soliloquy is an audible oratory or conversation with oneself. It is a term that is typically applied to theatrical characters engaged in a monologue, but can also be a term that is simply descriptive of any occurrence when one talks with oneself. Soliloquy can take the form of a dramatic or comedic monologue that is illusory (or abstractly hallucinagenic or dreamlike) of either a single passage or an entire series of unspoken reflections, and can therefore be a theatrical technique instrumental in advancing several ideas and thoughts in one sequence. In theater, a soliloquy is performed by a single actor on the stage, but more commonly in modern theater, the actor delivers the soliloquy in a sequence known as an "aside."

Writers such as Shakespeare used the soliloquy to great effect in order to express aloud to audiences some of the personal thoughts and emotions of his characters without specifically resorting to third-party narration.

The English version of the word "soliloquy" comes from the relatively late Latin root word "soliloquium," which is a direct derivation from the singular Latin word 'solus' meaning 'alone,' in addition to 'loqui' meaning 'to speak.'

Examples of soliloquy in literature

From Shakespeare's ''Hamlet''
Act 2, Scene 2

Now I am alone.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears. Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king,
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward?
Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard, and blows it in my face?
Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat,
As deep as to the lungs? who does me this?
Ha!
'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be
But I am pigeon-liver'd and lack gall
To make oppression bitter, or ere this
I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain!
Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!
O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion!
Fie upon't! foh! About, my brain! I have heard
That guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaim'd their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks;
I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen
May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy,
As he is very potent with such spirits,
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds
More relative than this: the play 's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.
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