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Soliloquy and monologue cover very similar ground, but there are some important differences between the two words. Soliloquy (from the Latin solus “alone” and loqui “to speak”) at its most basic level refers to the act of talking to oneself, and more specifically denotes the solo utterance of an actor in a drama. It tends to be used of formal or literary expressions, such as Hamlet’s soliloquies . Monologue (from Greek monos "alone" and legein "to speak") may also refer to a dramatic scene in which an actor soliloquizes , but it has other meanings as well. To a stand-up comedian, monologue denotes a comic routine. To a bored listener, it signifies a long speech uttered by someone who has too much to say.
Feng understood this code as well as anyone, so that it was reasonable to expect that he would quickly move to eliminate the future threat. If the boy did not instantly come up with a clever stratagem, his life would be exceedingly brief. In order to grow to adulthood—to survive long enough to be able to exact revenge—Amleth feigned madness, persuading his uncle that he could never pose a danger. Filthy and lethargic, he sat by the fire, aimlessly whittling away at small sticks and turning them into barbed hooks. Though the wary Feng repeatedly used intermediaries (the precursors of Shakespeare’s Ophelia, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern) to try to discern some hidden sparks of intelligence behind his nephew’s apparent idiocy, Amleth cunningly avoided detection. He bided his time, slipped out of traps, and made secret plans. Mocked as a fool, treated with contempt and derision, he eventually succeeded in burning to death Feng’s entire retinue and in running his uncle through with a sword. He summoned an assembly of nobles, explained why he had done what he had done, and was enthusiastically acclaimed as the new king. “Many could have been seen marvelling how he had concealed so subtle a plan over so long a space of time.”