Dramatic Monologues Explained!

Dramatic monologue (also known as a persona poem) is related to lyrical poetry as it is an expression of thoughts and feelings. The speaker of a dramatic monologue should be addressed as the ‘speaker’ or ‘poet’ instead of the ‘narrator’.  Although there is a narrative feature to an extent, it is implied through the expression of thoughts and feelings.

The characteristics of a dramatic monologue are:

–          An invented speaker – a character that is not the poet.

–          A situation that provides conflict or tension, for example a murder or an affair.

–          An implied audience to whom the speaker is addressing.

–          Often (although not always) there is a balance of judgement and sympathy, for example if somebody kills their husband/wife because they have had an affair you may judge them as it is murder but you may also feel sympathy for them because of the heartbreak that drove them to that extreme action.

–          There is only one voice present in the monologue.

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