Literary Terms: Dialogue, Aside/Soliloquy

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Last updated: April 27, 2019

Dialogue
Definition: a conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or filmTo determine if something is dialogue is simple it’s just two characters talking to one another. It is accompanied by quation marks. Example 1: In the Year of Wonders, dialogue is shown throughout the book. One specific example of dialogue is when Anna finds out that Mompellion had never slept with Elinor. She says, “How can you say such a thing? You–you were three years married. You loved each other..” “Yes, I loved Elinor,” he said softly.

“And that is why I never lay with her.”Example 2: In the Hunger Games, dialogue is also shown throughout the book. Dialogue is shown when Cinna and Katniss discuss what she is going to say during her interview. Cinna says, “When you’re asked a question, find me, and answer it as honestly as possible.” “Even if what I think is horrible?” she replied. “Especially if what you think is horrible.”Pop Culture Example: In the movie Titanic there is a lot of examples. One major dialogue that the characters share is when Jack and Rose are in the water, and are trying to stay alive.

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“You must do me this honor, Rose. Promise me you’ll survive. That you won’t give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise.” “I promise,” she replies.

Aside
Definition: a remark or passage in a play that is intended to be heard by the audience while the other characters on stage do something else.To determine whether something is an aside, it is usually either said in the book. Or if not, then you can tell by the character who is saying the line be the only one to know what he/she is saying other than the audience. Example 1: In Romeo and Juliet, during the balcony scene Romeo has an aside after Juliet has said her famous monologue.

He says, “Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?” This is an aside because Romeo is speaking to himself.Example 2: In Julius Caesar, before Caesar is assassinated Brutus has an aside that shows that he is sad to have to kill Brutus. He says, “That every “like” is not the same, O Caesar,The heart of Brutus earns to think upon.” This is an aside because Brutus is speaking to himself. Pop Culture Example: If you’ve every watched the show Malcolm in the Middle, you’d know that the main character, Malcolm, speaks to the audience directly, through an aside in all of his episodes.

Soliloquy
Definition: a monologue spoken by a character at a point in a play when a character is alone. The technique frequently reveals a character’s innermost thoughts, including his feelings, state of mind, motives or intentions.

To determine if something is a soliloquy, the character must be alone. Soliloquys are also in plays. Example 1: In Midsummer’s Night Dream, Helena has her famous speech about her not being as pretty as Hermia and how Demetrius does not love her. She says, “How happy some o’er other some can be!Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.

But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;He will not know what all but he do know.And as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes,So I, admiring of his qualities.”Example 2: In Merchant of Venice, Shylock’s speech about his unfair treatment just because he is a Jew is a soliloquy. He says, “I am a Jew.

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?” It is a soliloquy because he is speaking to himself about his unfair treatment. Pop Culture Example: In the Movie/Play Les Miserables, Jean Valjean’s song What Have I Done is about him having to change his way of life, and is a soliloquy where he reveals his innermost feeling about his life.

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