Dramatic Monologue; Definition, Characteristics & Examples


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.


  1. My Last Duchess by Robert Browning
  2. The Bishop Orders His Tomb by Robert Browning
  3. Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning
  4. Men and Women by Robert Browning
  5. Christmas Eve and Easter Day by Robert Browning
  6. Dramatis Personae by Robert Browning
  7. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by Eliot
  8. 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.