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Commentry for dramatic monologue

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Introduction

Commentary on dramatic monologue This fictional monologue is intended to entertain a radio audience, such as listeners to Radio 4' The afternoon play. This drama has enormous scope in terms of genre, examples include contemporary and period drama, crime, poetry, romance fantasy, etc. The Radio 4 website identifies the profile of the audience as being older at home listeners. The slot is 45 minutes, however my monologue lasts 15 minutes. Ideally I would like this monologue to be one of three played during the 45 minute slot. In the subsequent 30 minutes would follow two more monologues just before Boleyn's execution the first of King Henry VIII and the second, of the young Elizabeth. My inspiration was GCSE literature study of poetry such as "The laboratory" and "The last Duchess", poetically telling a complete story by monologue. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the character asks questions-this to give the impression she is interacting with the audience. These together with declarative sentences convey the story. The repetitive use of "but" by the character ensures the audience is constantly expecting to hear more. The monologue is conveyed by using widely varying vocal tones and volumes to express emotions. Successive changes in tone e.g. defiant, remorse, sadness etc. are used to give an impression of confusion. Negative connotations of words give the character's views without her directly stating them e.g. on describing the stillbirth or the king "dissimulation and malice as a pit of toad-headed serpents". This creates a very visual picture but also implies her feelings a toad is an ugly creature, the king is an evil serpent masquerading as a harmless ugly toad. ...read more.

Conclusion

Further the mixture of complex and simple, long and short sentences creates an edge of madness in the character. This is a historical monologue aimed at an adult audience, therefore to maintain some authenticity. Archaic features e.g. 'tis are used. I studied Shakespearean plays and noted lexis and style of speech and mimicked this. However I decided not to end verbs in ..eth this was hard work for listeners to follow and rather heavy for an afternoon play. Other archaic conventions used are compound words e.g. 'would not' rather then contracted words e.g. 'wouldn't'. I carefully chose sentence word orders to sound dated e.g. "whose body also was destroyed". The language is formal register to convey royalty. Constant reference to religion emphasises her belief of being innocent. Lexis and vocabulary are chosen throughout to create graphic images for the listener thereby maintaining interest e.g. burning soul, wretched wife, futile womb etc. ...read more.

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