A monologue is a long speech spoken by one actor in a play or film.
A monologue is where one character is doing the talking, whether it be dramatic talking, complaining, telling jokes, or evil laughing. Their story can include other characters, but only one speaks in an extended format, and the audience sees the scene through that character’s eyes.
The King of the Monologue
Perhaps the most famous of history’s dramatic monologue writers was Shakespeare himself. He wrote as many theatrical plays as he wrote comedies, many of which were rich with monologues by his main characters. In a play format, a monologue is a character speaking a long speech, addressing the audience, other characters in the scene, or themselves.
In Shakespeare’s plays, characters famously do a lot of talking out loud to themselves. Children will learn all about Shakespeare and his works in their studies and will be introduced to comedic and dramatic monologues.
Writing a Dramatic Monologue – Tips For Kids
The best way to inspire children to write their dramatic monologue is to give them many ready-made examples. They can practice reading and speaking with these monologues and get more familiar with the type of story and tone used. Split children into pairs of A and B, or 1 and 2. Each child should take turns performing the monologue, and the other should give feedback and positive commentary before taking their favor.
Here are some fantastic examples of dramatic monologues for kids to inspire and admire:
- “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – Puck
Puck is a great character to get younger children interested in Shakespeare and the world of theatre. He’s playful and punchy and spends much of the play prancing around, making comments to the audience. In addition, puck’s monologues have consistent rhythms, making them easier for younger children to learn and enjoy. Puck’s monologues can be found in Act 2, Scene 2, Act 3, Scene 2, and Act 5, Scene 2.
- “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – Snug the Lion
Snug, the lion, is a beautiful character to introduce children to dynamic writing when working with a dramatic monologue. His monologues are short and balance drama with humor. Children can have fun taking inspiration from the character and will love playing with the gentle lion. The monologue can be found in Act 5, Scene 1.
- ” Matilda” – Matilda
Matilda is such a loveable and relatable character, and she’s a great learning model for children – the girl loves a good book. Her monologues are short and punchy, and she has excellent comic delivery. This is true for many of the other characters in the story. This would be a great example to use when practicing writing comedic monologues. Psst, We’ve included one of the monologues from Matilda below.
Choose a topic
When teaching about writing monologues, firstly, children need to choose a topic. A good suggestion when writing a dramatic monologue is to make it personal. That way, children write as themselves and can pull inspiration from something that has happened in their lives. Have them choose something they remember as being quite dramatic – like the time the cat got stuck in the tree. Once they have decided upon an event or story, they can begin writing. When you’re teaching about writing monologues, get children in the right frame of mind by asking them to think of something that makes them sad and scared or happy and excited; then, ask them to write about it.
Writing a personal monologue
Once children have decided upon a topic or event for their monologue, it’s time to get writing. They’re writing about themselves, so it should be easier to remember how they felt and use descriptive language to describe the event.
Writing a character monologue
Children have had a little practice writing a monologue from their own experiences. Now is a fun time to challenge them to create a monologue based on a character. Students could choose an existing character from a story or play they know and love or use their imagination to invent a new and exciting figure. They should use the same method as before, but instead of writing a monologue about an event they experienced, they should put themselves in the new character’s shoes. Imagining the world from the point of view of the character and what they would say and do.
Using dramatic language
Creating dramatic dialogue in a monologue can be tricky. So it’s good to introduce children to some good examples of dramatic language to inspire their imagination and offer a scaffold framework for their writing. In dramatic dialogue, a lot is happening, but it’s very realistic. Using dramatic prompts in class is a beautiful way to help children feel more confident.