Poetry 101: What Is a Soliloquy? Learn the Difference Between Soliloquy, Monologue, and an Aside With Examples

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Sep 9, 2021 • 3 min read

When most people hear the word “soliloquy” their mind might produce a singular image: Hamlet, Act Three, Scene One, where Hamlet ponders the value of his own continued existence: “To be, or not to be, that is the question.” So begins one of the most iconic soliloquies in the dramatic arts. Not only is this monologue a window into a tortured man’s soul: it’s also a piece of poetry.