MONOLOGUE (from Gr. µovos, alone, and X yos, speech) , a passage in a dramatic piece in which a personage holds thescene to himself and speaks unconsciously aloud . The theory of the monologue is that the
See also:audience overhears the thoughts of one who believes himself to be alone, and who thus informs them of what would otherwise be unknown to them . The word is also used in cases when a character on the stage speaks at
See also:great length, even though not alone, but is listened to in silence by the other characters . The old-fashioned tragedies of the 17th and 18th centuries greatly affected this
See also:convention of the monologue, which has always, however, been liable to ridicule . There is something of a lyrical character about the monologue in
See also:verse; and this has been
See also:felt by some of the classic poets of France so strongly, that many of the examples in the tragedies of Corneille are nothing more or less than odes or cantatas . The monologues of
See also:Shakespeare, and those of
See also:Hamlet in particular, have a far more dramatic character, and are, indeed, essential to the development of the
See also:play . Equally important are those of Racine in Phedre and in Athalie . The French critics record, as the most ambitious examples of the monologue in two centuries, that of
See also:Figaro in Beaumarchais's Le Mariage de Figaro and that of
See also:Charles V. in Victor Hugo's Hernani, the latter ex-tends to 16o lines . In the Elizabethan drama, the popularity of
See also:Spanish Tragedy, in which Hieronymo spouts interminably, set a fashion for ranting monologues, which are very frequent in Shakespeare's immediate predecessors and contemporaries . After 1600 the practice was much reduced, and the tendency of solitary heroes to pour forth columns of
See also:blank verse was held in check by more complex stage arrangements . After the Restoration the classic tragedies of the
See also:English playwrights again abused the
See also:privilege of monologue to such a degree that it became absurd, and fell into desuetude .
MONOGRAM (from Late Lat. monogramma, in Late Gr. µ...
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