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What is the difference between a monologue and a soliloquy?

In origin, the words are doublets: Greek monologue and Latin soliloquy both mean 'single speech'. But they are now distinguished in performances with monologue as a speech made by one person in the company of others while a soliloquy is spoken by one person who is alone. A monologue is a long speech delivered by one person who forgets or neglects the others who are there, with an example being "The Vagina Monologues." Hamlet's "To be or not to be" is a great example of a soliloquy. We also think of monologue in the context of late-night talk shows or comedy clubs where the host or performer does a stand-up comedy routine.

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