The UVic Writer's Guide
In a soliloquy, one speaks to oneself. In drama, soliloquy is the convention whereby characters speak their thoughts
aloud while alone, thus communicating to the audience their mental
state, intentions, and motives (as in Hamlet's famous "To be or
not to be" soliloquy).
Similar to the solilquy is the aside, a convention for expressing characters' minds. It is a short
remark made in the presence of others but which only the audience
is privy to. The aside is often used to show duplicity or hypocrisy
in great detail, as when Iago comments on his deception of Othello.
The aside fell out of fashion in the nineteenth century with the
greater demand for realism in drama, but has been restored in some modern non-naturalistic
Literary Terms (By Category)
Literary Terms (Alphabetized)
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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria,
This page updated September 23, 1995