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April 10, 2016

Framed Narrative Definition and Examples

Framed Narrative Definition and Examples

A framed narrative, also known as framing narrative, frame story, and frame tale, is simply a story within a story, and sometimes within yet another story.

Examples of Framed Narratives in Literature

One Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights)
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Characteristics of a Framed Narrative

A different individual often narrates the events of the story in each frame.

It provides the reader with context about the main narrative.

Allows for multiple perspectives on a topic.

"The form thus also resembles the psychoanalytic process of uncovering the unconscious behind various levels of repressive, obfuscating narratives put in place by the conscious mind" (1).

"Acts as a convenient conceit for the organization of a set of smaller narratives which are either of the devising of the author, or taken from a previous stock of popular tales slightly altered by the author for the purpose of the longer narrative. Sometimes a story within the main narrative can be used to sum up or encapsulate some aspect of the framing story" (2).


(1) "Framed Narrative." Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. 17 July 2002. 10 Apr. 2016.
(2) Wikipedia contributors. "Frame story." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2016. .
"What are the Effects of a Frame Narrative?" Synonym. 10 Apr. 2016. .