In a play or a film, an aside is a short speech delivered by a character to the audience. The speaker is typically not heard by any of the other characters in the scene, and this gives the actor or actress the chance to address the audience directly.

This provides extra depth and insight into the thoughts and feelings of the character, which can help make the portrayal more realistic.

In some cases, another character will notice an aside, and they may choose to respond to it.

In this scenario, both characters are often tacitly acknowledging that they know they are part of a fiction, which can be done for comedic effect.

Given its nature in plays or films, it is uncommon for an aside to be performed in real life.

However, there are some circumstances where such things occur.


What Is an aside

What Is an aside?

An aside is like a momentary aside. The character speaks directly to the audience though the other characters are not aware of it.

This is a means of breaking the fourth wall.

To put it simply, it is a short comment that the actor makes to the audience. It reveals something about the character and adds depth to his personality. Asides are written in parentheses in a play script.

A soliloquy is an entirely different thing. It is a monologue spoken by a single character on stage, who is giving voice to his innermost thoughts. The other characters are not aware of this monologue.

A soliloquy can be considered as an aside, and usually is one where the character is directly addressing the audience.



What Is An Aside?

In a play or film script, an aside is traditionally written with brackets around it to distinguish it from normal dialogue so that actors know how to deliver their lines.

The brackets go around the entire aside, including actions that might be included in tandem with speech.

The word “aside” comes from the Latin “ad sidere,” meaning “to the stars.” In Shakespearean drama, an aside was a line spoken by a character that only the audience could hear.

It was a dramatic device used to create irony.

In a play or film, an aside is used to let the audience know what a character is thinking when he’s not supposed to be overheard.

It’s also used when a character becomes aware of something that will affect his actions, but other characters on stage are unaware of that information.

Examples Of Asides In Movies

 Asides are a dramatic device, meaning an element of the plot that has to do with the action and theme. An aside is a comment made by one character directly to the audience and not intended to be heard by other characters in the play.

Types of asides include:

1. Auditory asides, which are spoken aloud but not intended for anyone else in the scene. They’re heard by the audience, like when Hamlet says “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space” or when Romeo says “O brawling love! O loving hate!”

2. Soliloquies, which aren’t really asides but words spoken aloud that aren’t intended for anyone else’s ears. The main difference between soliloquies and asides is that soliloquies are generally longer and more philosophical than asides, which are generally short comments like those made in response to something someone else said.

Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” speech is a famous soliloquy; his “Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I” comment isn’t an aside. Description:Film examples of asides: The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, The Silence of the Lambs, and more. Examples from movies can help you improve your writing.

Examples Of Asides In Television

Asides are another type of transition device. An aside is like a spoken aside, or aside glance in a play.

We all use asides in our everyday speech to direct someone’s attention to a pertinent bit of information that we don’t want to interrupt the flow of the conversation on.

Terkoff writes, “The aside is an intentional break into the narrative by the narrator and requires that the listener be alert, both to understand it and also to appreciate its significance.”

Asides are often used in television programs when they need to cut away from their subject to insert some information which is relevant but not essential to understanding their topic.

An example of an aside would be when a news reporter wants to tell us what another reporter on the scene is currently reporting, but does not want to interrupt their report by inserting it into their current broadcast.

If a reporter wants to inform us about something else going on at that time and place, they might say something similar to “We’re going over here now.”

This would be considered an aside because it interrupts the flow of the story being told by that reporter.

Examples Of Asides In Literature

Asides are used in theater when the character has a foible that is naturally funny, like being overly dramatic or acting as if they are better than everyone else. They can also be used to show how the character sees themselves in relation to others.

The aside is a technique used by many famous playwrights, such as William Shakespeare and Eugene O’Neill. Asides are normally written into the play when there is a character who is conceited and thinks he or she is above everyone else.

For example, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” this character would be Puck. Because Puck has a lot of fun with the audience, he seems very conceited, but we love him because of this.

The way the aside is usually delivered is when someone else on stage talks to the conceited character and then looks at the audience and says something along the lines of “I will tell you a secret.”

Puck does this all the time in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He will talk to another faerie on stage, like Titania (the queen of the faeries), and then look at the audience while saying something like My lady thinks she’s so great. The following are three examples of aside from classic literature.

What Is An Aside Used For?

An aside is a piece of text that appears in the body of a page, but is separate from the main flow. The aside tag is used in conjunction with other tags to create sidebars and pull quotes on webpages.

The aside tag should be used for content which is not essential to the main topic, but can still be valuable to the reader. If an article is about the best places in the US to visit, you can use an aside to mention some good travel resources you have found or include some pictures or facts that don’t really belong in the article, but would still be helpful.

Aside tags are also useful for including advertising space on your site. You can sell advertising space using an aside tag if you’re worried about breaking up your own writing too much and want to keep things clean and easy for visitors to read.

Apart from these two uses, asides are not really necessary on webpages. If your article does not require them, you can just include this content in the article itself without needing it as a separate tag.


An aside is used to give additional information in a sentence but not central to the main point of the sentence. It is a secondary piece of information that may be related or unrelated to the topic being discussed.

How To Use An Aside In Your Screenplay?

Screenwriting is all about communication. Whether it’s a key plot point or a piece of characterization, you don’t want to have your main character deliver information out of the blue.

Aside dialogue allows you to share information with the audience while maintaining the integrity of the scene and staying focused on your central character.

The aside is a versatile tool that can be used in several different ways. It can be used as a way to demonstrate a change in mood or emotion.

You could also use an aside as an interjection when you want to communicate something directly to the audience or even when you want to comment on what’s going on in the scene that might not make sense to your other characters.

The aside is similar to stage directions, but much more subtle. You should only use them sparingly, because if you’re constantly stepping out of the scene and referring to things that aren’t understandable without context, your script will lose its dramatic edge.

The best writing will always keep the focus on your story’s main character and his or her point-of-view. One of the most common uses for an aside in screenwriting is for wisecracks.

Often, in romantic comedies or buddy comedies like “The Hangover,” you’ll see characters making jokes at other characters’ expense when no one else can hear them.

Examples Of Asides In Shakespeare

Asides are speeches that characters make to the audience or to other characters in the play. They are a dramatic device that breaks up the flow of the dialogue and adds a layer of meaning.

How are they used?

The aside is a common device in Shakespeare’s plays. Often, they are used to build suspense, foreshadowing, or humor as the character breaks from his role in the play to speak directly to the audience.

For example, when Hamlet says, “Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” he steps out of character and addresses us directly, breaking our suspense and making us laugh at Polonius’s supposed naiveté.

Furthermore, aside can be used for romantic interludes between two lovers that would otherwise be forbidden due to social norms.

In Romeo and Juliet for example, Romeo makes a long speech about how he will not give up on his love for Juliet even though his family has forbidden it: “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east and Juliet is the sun!” (Act II) He then has an aside in which he reveals his true feelings for Juliet: “Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon who is already sick and pale.

Leveling Up Your Use Of Asides In Your Screenplay

Asides are a great device for shortening scenes and providing information to the reader that doesn’t necessarily need to be spoken aloud.

How to Create Asides in Your Screenplay:

1. Use asides sparingly.

2. Use them for information that is relevant but not essential.

3. Make sure you have other action on screen, like your main character doing something, so the audience knows where they are in the scene at all times, and doesn’t think something has gone wrong with their DVD player.

4.  Make sure you have at least 2 characters on screen before having an aside (even if one of them is only being mentioned by name). Dialogue must have at least 2 characters present, even if one of them is only being mentioned by name.