Aside Examples


Sometimes in a play, or drama, the audience needs to know something about a character or a character's thoughts without the other characters on the stage knowing. Playwrights use aside as a technique for a character to speak lines that the audience can hear, but the other characters on stage are not aware.

Examples of Aside:

If a character has hidden something in the play, the playwright might have the character reveal the location of the hidden object to the audience, but the other characters onstage are oblivious.

A character in a play may share secret feelings about another character with the audience, but the other characters in the play are oblivious.

Examples from Literature:

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

When Juliet learns that Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt and has been banished, her mother thinks that she is weeping for her dead cousin. But, through the use of asides the audience knows Juliet is weeping for Romeo:

Lady Capulet: Well, girl, thou weep'st not so much for his death, as that the villain lives which slaughter'd him.

Juliet: What villain, madam?

Lady Capulet: That same villain, Romeo.

Juliet: [Aside] Villain and he be many miles asunder. God Pardon him! I do, with all my heart, And yet no man like he doth grieve my heart.

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar's friends plot to kill him in this play. In this excerpt, Caesare asks Trebonius to be close to him, and in an aside, Trebonius lets the audience know this may be a fatal request from Caesar.

Caesar: Bid them prepare within:
I am to blame to be thus waited for.
Now, Cinna: now, Metellus: what, Trebonius!
I have an hour's talk in store for you;
Remember that you call on me to-day:
Be near me, that I may remember you.

Trebonius: Caesar, I will:
[Aside] and so near will I be,
That your best friends shall wish I had been further.

Related Links:
Literary Terms Examples