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Prepare a page definition for the assigned literary term (Frame narrative) with examples and references.

  1. You should have at least two paragraphs about your term:
    The first will include the basic definition and some history of how the term came to be.

The second paragraph should outline some examples of application of the term.

  1. You will also need to provide three references to websites that provide more information. These sites should be sites other than the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms but can include one Wikipedia site.


Frame Narrative

A frame narrative refers to a literary technique used in arts where a secondary story is embedded in the main story. The technique is used to guide a reader from one story to another. The technique was initiated in Egypt and spread to the rest of the world leading to development of frame tale collections (Wikipedia 2). Writers adopted the technique because of its flexibility. A writer could drop a story and get into stories rather easily. The main narrative acts as a frame that creates a connection among all other stories thus leading to the emergence of a complete story. Thus, it is mainly used as a guide to the structure of a narrative (Casano 3). Frame narratives also play a vital role in narrative development.

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The frame narrative technique has been adapted in many fields of art. It is commonly used in operas, poems, novels, plays, and musicals. In novels for example, the secondary story may be introduced at a point where a character narrates a story about a crucial incident that transformed his or her life. The story may develop to a point where other smaller stories arising from that crucial incident are narrated (Irwin 36). The outline of the main story acts as a guide to development of secondary stories to promote cohesion in the novel. Similarly, frame narratives are widely used in in movies. In this case, a movie character narrates past events that can shed more light on his or her present circumstances. In many cases, cinematic techniques are used to enhance the effectiveness of the frame narrative. In conclusion, the frame narrative technique has greatly contributed to the literary development and artistic expression. It enables writers to develop stories by creating a platform for self-expression by characters.

Works Cited

Irwin, Bonnie. “What’s in a Frame? The Medieval Textualization of Traditional Storytelling.” Oral Tradition, 10 (1995): 27- 53. Retrieved from

Casano, Ann. Frame Narrative: Definition & Overview. Retrieved from

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