dramatic monologue

A dramatic monologue is a type of poem or literary work in which a single character, typically the speaker, addresses a silent audience or a specific listener. The speaker in a dramatic monologue usually reveals their thoughts, feelings, and motivations through their words, allowing the reader or listener to gain insight into their character and perspective.

One of the key features of a dramatic monologue is that the speaker’s words often reveal more about the character than they may intend. The speaker may reveal their prejudices, biases, and flaws through their words and actions, allowing the reader or listener to form a complex understanding of their personality.

Another important aspect of a dramatic monologue is the use of irony. The speaker may be unaware of the full implications of their words, but the reader or listener can pick up on the irony of their statements. This can create tension and a sense of unease as the listener becomes aware of the gap between the speaker’s intentions and the actual meaning of their words.

Some well-known examples of dramatic monologues include Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” in which the speaker reveals his possessive and jealous nature through his description of a painting of his former wife, and T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” in which the speaker reveals his feelings of isolation and insecurity through his interior monologue.

Overall, the dramatic monologue is a powerful literary technique that allows writers to create complex, multifaceted characters and explore themes of identity, power, and self-deception.

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