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Soliloquies and Other Wordplay

The article by Russell Brown elaborates how soliloquy and other word play the audience of a play to connect with the characters and share their thoughts.  The writer of the article uses Hamlet by Shakespeare to explain the role played by soliloquies, asides and other devices by characters in a play towards the audience.


Soliloquies, asides and other wordplay employed by characters in a play are meant to maintain the connection between the audience and the play as it unfolds. An aside by a character provides the audience with information to which others characters in the play are not privy. This enhances the audiences’ understanding of other characters activities. On the other hand, soliloquies help the audience to understand the thoughts of a character, which may not be obvious in normal conversations with other characters. Soliloquies also enable the audience to share in the difficulties or happiness of the characters. When a character in a difficult situation, the audience feel the apprehension and the need to help the character, though it is not possible.

The use of asides, soliloquies and other wordplay arouses the audiences’ imagination to the point of making the play alive in their minds. To ensure that the soliloquies and asides do not pre-empt the characters’ next move, Shakespeare uses devices such as baffling speeches from characters, their withdrawal from conversations and strange imagery in Hamlet. Such devices and styles increase the audiences’ doubts on whether they can predict the next move by characters based on the soliloquies and asides given earlier. Consequently, their suspense is increased up to the end of the play. Therefore, the use of soliloquies and other wordplay in a play engage the audience to become part of the play imaginatively and increase their connection with characters and the play in general.

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