By Muhammad Faseeh ul Hassan


Dramatic Monologue is a kind of lyrical sonnet as a speech or narrative by an imagined individual, wherein the speaker incidentally uncovers parts of their character while depicting a specific circumstance or arrangement of occasions.

Dramatic Monologue isn’t a component during a play, but a sort of lyric , that was perfected by Robert Browning . In its fullest form, as represented in Browning’s “My Last Duchess,” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb,” “Andrea del Sarto,” and much of other poems.

Dramatic monologue  is unique in relation to a play and a soliloquy. In play the  activity is outside yet in dramatic monologue, the activity is interior and his soul is that the stage. during a soliloquy, only one character speaks to himself and there is no interference of the opposite character but during a monologue, one character speaks his mind and thus the character is listening of him, but he is not interfering within the action.

According to M.H.Abrams, an American critic , dramatic monologue has following features.

1.A person , who is evidently not the writer, articulates the entire poem during a particular circumstance at a critical point in time.

2. This person addresses and interacts with one or more other people; but we all know of the auditor’s presence and what they assert and do only from clues within the discourse of the only speaker.

3. The principle controlling the writer’s determination and association of what the lyric speaker says is that the speaker’s unintentional disclosure of their personality and character.


According to Slinn, One function of the dramatic monologue is “empathic self-projection” or “thoughtful recognizable proof”. Dramatic monologue permit writers to investigate perspectives outsider to their own encounters, to open up their minds to other potential epistemologies, contrary to this dictum inside the experimental writing world to “write what you know” (Galvin). Within the process of writing dramatic monologues, the poet—after research and with an excellent deal of sensitivity towards the researched subject and care to not accidentally assimilate or erase that subject.

The speakers of dramatic monologues fall roughly into three categories: literary personae, historical personae, and everyday personae. When poets use literary or historical personae, they usually do so in order to explore political or cultural issues within the framework of a setting with which readers will likely already be familiar (though not necessarily).

A poet‟s use of everyday personae in dramatic monologues, as opposed to literary or historical personae, often signals either humorous or unsettling content. These everyday personae are neither literary nor historical, though usually fictitious in that they are created exnihilo or with only a little inspiration from the outside world.

Types of Dramatic Monologue

Major types of dramatic monologues are as followed;

  1. Romantic monologue
  2. Philosophical and psychological monologue
  3. Conversational monologue

Famous Poet & Examples

Example #1

Robert Browning.

Robert Browning (1812–1889) was an English poet and writer whose dominance of the dramatic monologue made him one of the premier Victorian artists. His poems are known for their satire, portrayal, dark humor, social critique, authentic settings, and extraordinary style and grammar. The absolute most refreshing writings of Browning are; “My Last Duchess,” “The Bishop Orders His Tomb,” “Andrea del Sarto,” and numerous different poems.

My Last Duchess –Extract
Robert Browning
That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now; Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek; perhaps.

The poet, Robert Browning utters the entire poem in a specific situation at a critical moment: In this extract taken from the poem , “My Last Duchess” the Duke is negotiating with an emissary for a second wife. It is a type of psychological monologue which tells the psychological state of mind of the speaker.

Example #2

John Donne.

John Donne (1572–1631) was an English researcher, artist, solider and secretary naturally born to a Catholic family. His poetical works are noted for their allegorical and exotic style and include elegies, melodies, satires , pieces, love sonnets, strict sonnets, Latin interpretations and mottos . He is additionally known for his messages. He additionally served as member of Parliament in 1601 and in 1614. Donne died on 31 March 1631 and was covered in old St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Canonization -Extract
John Donne
For God’s sake hold your tongue, and let me love
 Or chide my palsy, or my gout,
My five gray hairs, or ruined fortune flout,
    With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve,
    Take you a course, get you a place,
    Observe his honor, or his grace,
Or the king’s real, or his stampèd face
     Contemplate; what you will, approve,
    So you will let me love.

John Donne’s “The Canonization” is dramatic verses that is near the dramatic monologue. In this, the focal point of focus is fundamentally on the speaker’s extravagantly quick response, instead of on the character he coincidentally uncovers over the span of belligerence.

Example #3

Alfred Tennyson.

Alfred Tennyson has appeared to be the embodiment more than some other Victorian-period author of his age, both to his peers and to current perusers. In his own day he was supposed to be—with Queen Victoria and Prime Minister William Gladstone—one of the three most renowned living people, a fame no other artist writing in English has ever had.

Ulysses -Extract
Alfred Tennyson
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,

Example #4


T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 , is one of the great masters of modern literature , exceptionally recognized as an poet, scholarly critic, playwright, and editor and publisher. He is the writer of one of the most acclaimed and powerful poems of the century, The Waste Land (1922).

The Love Song of J. Alfred PrufrockExtract
T. S. Eliot
“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In this poem , Eliot featured the thoughts of a youngster who is frantically in love yet at the same time hesitates to express it. Subsequently, he faces an existential issue. The sonnet features his mental perspective through this contemporary monologue.

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