Thursday, 14 July 2016

'I' is for In Medias Res

We haven't had an alphabet post in a while because the letter 'I' has thwarted me at every turn. Of course, when I finally managed to defeat it, three topics came along at once.

The first was irony, which I'd probably define wrong...

The second was idioms, which I'm usually the queen of. Naturally the moment I thought of it every idiom I knew slipped silently to the back of my mind.

So we're stuck with In Medias Res.

(Which is Latin for 'in the middle of things.')

Right. If you can remember that, you can easily remember what it means. 

A story that starts in the middle, during the climax, or at the end starts in medias res. The exposition and rising action are therefore told in flashbacks, or by character conversation. 

In Medias Res in literature:
  •  Robert Browning's poem The Laboratory begins in medias res, with the narrator already at the eponymous laboratory. Flashbacks are used to tell us what has forced her to such a dreary place.
  • The Odyssey begins with Odysseus' son Telemachus as a grown man and Odysseus having been missing for ten years. We later hear everything that Odysseus has done over the last decade.
 Can you think of any more examples of stories that begin in medias res.