Soliloquy and aside

Since there is no narrator in a play, two dramatic devices - soliloquy and aside - are used to show the characters’ thoughts and feelings.



A soliloquy is a lengthy speech that is typically spoken when the character is alone on stage. One example is Macbeth‘s soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 7 when Macbeth is outlining the pros and cons of killing King Duncan (1.7.1-28). So far, we have mainly seen him as the brave warrior and loyal subject. In this scene, however, he reveals his motives and moral scruples to us. It becomes clear that he is seriously considering murdering his king.

Another famous soliloquy in the play is Lady Macbeth’s “unsex me” soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 5. This is a very dramatic and passionate speech where Macbeth’s wife ...

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