A soliloquy (/səˈlɪl.ə.kwi, sˈlɪl.-/, from Latin solo "to oneself" + loquor "I talk", plural soliloquies) is a monologue addressed to oneself, thoughts spoken out loud without addressing another.[1]

Soliloquies are used as a device in drama to let a character make their thoughts known to the audience, address it directly or take it into their confidence.[2] English Renaissance drama used soliloquies to great effect;[2] for example, the soliloquy "To be, or not to be" is a centerpiece of Shakespeare's Hamlet.


  1. ^ Hasegawa, Yoko (2010). Soliloquy in Japanese and English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub. Co. p. 2. ISBN 978-90-272-8753-3. OCLC 697617483.
  2. ^ a b Braunmuller, A. R.; Hattaway, Michael (2003). The Cambridge companion to English Renaissance drama (2nd ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-521-82115-0. OCLC 50761151.CS1 maint: date and year (link)