CHAPTER 8

Dialogue

Dialogue consists of the passages of talk in the play. It involves all the conversations, monologues, soliloquies, narration, choral odes, songs, and anything else spoken by the characters. It does not include stage directions. Enough has already been said in earlier chapters to show how important it is to study the dialogue for information about the given circumstances, background story, plot, character, and idea. Yet even when the dialogue is clear about all this information, it still deserves to be studied for its own self. In addition to being the play’s primary means of communication, dialogue is also the playwright’s sole means of creative expression. It can be merely workmanlike or it can display a high degree of virtuosity. ...

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