The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT)

Dramatic monologues (Poetry)

  • Poems in which a character other than the poet addresses a silent audience, thus unwittingly revealing the character's own nature.
  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Dramatic monologues (Poetry)
  • Variants

    • Dramatic lyrics
    • Monologues, Dramatic (Poetry)
  • Broader Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Baldick, C. Oxford dictionary of literary terms, 2008(dramatic monologue: A kind of poem in which a single fictional or historical character other than the poet speaks to a silent 'audience' of one or more persons. Such poems reveal not the poet's own thoughts but the mind of the impersonated character, whose personality is revealed unwittingly; this distinguishes a dramatic monologue from a lyric, while the implied presence of an auditor distinguishes it from a soliloquy. Major examples of this form in English are Tennyson's 'Ulysses' (1842), Browning's 'Fra Lippo Lippi' (1855), and T. S. Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' (1917). Some plays in which only one character speaks, in the form of a monologue or soliloquy, have also been called dramatic monologues; but to avoid confusion it is preferable to refer to these simply as monologues or as monodramas)
    • found: Myers, J. Dictionary of poetic terms, c2003:dramatic monologue (a type of soliloquy in which a character (not the poet) addresses a silent listener, and in his speech reveals his own nature, the nature of the conflict in his situation, and the period and setting of the poem or play. Robert Browning's synonymous term is "dramatic lyric") lyric (originally, poetry meant to be sung, accompanied by music from the lyre or lute. the term now refers to a category of poetry (distinct from Narrative poem and Dramatic poetry) that is short in form, concentrated in its expression, subjective in its observations, personal in subject matter, and songlike in quality; Most often, its strategy is to create a private expression intended to be overheard; if the lyric is directly addressed to another person, it is called a dramatic lyric or dramatic monologue. In the 20th century, the lyric is the dominant poetic form)
    • found: Concise Oxford companion to English literature, 2012(dramatic monologue: A poem presented as though spoken not by the poet but by a single imagined or historical person, usually to an imagined auditor: the speaker or 'persona' is thus dramatized, often ironically, through his or her own words)
  • General Notes

    • Poems in which a character other than the poet addresses a silent audience, thus unwittingly revealing the character's own nature.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-14: revised
  • Alternate Formats

Suggest terminology

The LC Linked Data Service welcomes any suggestions you might have about terminology used for a given heading or concept.

Would you like to suggest a change to this heading?

Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes.

Fields denoted with an asterisk (*) are required.