A dramatic monologue is a long speech by a single person. It differs from soliloquy which means the expression of ideas by a character in a play. On the other hand, dramatic monologue is a kind of lyric which was used and improved by Robert Browning.
These poems are dramatic in the sense that they have a theatrical quality i.e. the poem is meant to be read to an audience. To say that the poem is a monologue means that these are the words of one speaker with no dialogue coming from any other character.
The reason poets choose to write poems like this is to express a point of view through the words of a character. However, often the opinion stated by that characters are not the same as the views of the poet. Most of the time, the speaker tries to convince someone of something & may or may not be telling the whole truth.
- A speaker is a single person who is not a poet.
- The views of the speaker may contradict with those of the poet.
- The speech of this character makes up the whole of the verse, in a specific situation at a crucial moment.
- This character addresses & interacts with one or more people, but we know of the others’ presence & what they say or do only from clues in the poetic dialogues of the speaker.
- The primary focus of the poet is to tell the readers and audience a story having a moral in a way that boosts the curiosity towards it, the speaker’s temperament & character.
- The subject of the monologue is self-revelation. These are some of the features of dramatic monologue.
- The rhyme scheme is not important in Dramatic Monologue.
These were some of the key features of dramatic monologue.
- My Last Duchess by Robert Browning
- The Bishop Orders His Tomb by Robert Browning
- Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning
- Men and Women by Robert Browning
- Christmas Eve and Easter Day by Robert Browning
- Dramatis Personae by Robert Browning
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by Eliot
- Ulysses by Tennyson
These are some of the famous dramatic monologues.
Ulysses as a Dramatic Monologue
- Ulysses, the single character, who is the main speaker is of the view that living with his wife in the house is not worthy.
- He desires to go away for new experiences.
- He wants to attain knowledge which would forever develop his wisdom and understanding.
- The poem is a protest against the idealism of the Romantic Age, which Ulysses’s wife is a symbol of.
How to Write a Dramatic Monologue
- You need to think about a character, the speech of whom will be in the verse form.
- Give specific traits to the character.
- The audience and the readers should be able to understand the nature of the character.
- Compose the dialogues in the form of a poem.
- The dialogues should be clear enough to describe the character, the other character present there and the surroundings.
- Check for errors.
- Rewrite the script.
- Share with your friends.