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Framed Narrative


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A story in which another story is enclosed or embedded as a ‘tale within the tale’, or which contains several such tales. Prominent examples of frame narratives enclosing several tales are Boccaccio's Decameron (1353) and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (c.1390), while some novels such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847) employ a narrative structure in which the main action is relayed at second hand through an enclosing frame story. 

Sometimes when we're watching a film or reading a book, a character will start to tell a story to another character or perhaps a character will sit down to write a novel. When we go inside this second narrative, or this story within a story literary technique, it's called a frame narrative (also called frame story or frame tale.) Frame narratives are one of the most popular literary techniques used in storytelling. We regularly see them in almost every written art form: novels, poems, plays, films, television, opera, and musicals.

Imagine the main narrative as a picture frame. It provides the structure for the story: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Now imagine secondary stories placed inside of the picture frame. A writer can put a second or third or really an unlimited number of stories within the context of this frame. All of these stories are held together by the main narrative, the frame essentially connects what would otherwise be unrelated stories. Typically the initial narrative will be used as a setup for structural purposes. The secondary story (or stories) will be more important and ultimately take on a larger role.

Joe Staten has inicluded that the Halo Infinite Seasons will each have their own framed narratives from beginning to end following new Spartans around the Halo universe. 

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