Narrative is the presentation of the events of a story whereby the selection of those events is a means of creating meaning.  It may be presented by a first, third or muliple-person narrators.  Occasionally an author will write in the second person to put the reader more in the action.

However, more usually, the narrator will be either:

(1) potentially omniscient and external to the proceedings i.e. ‘extradiegetic’, which means outside of the events recounted; or

(2) be a character who is part of the tale and having a role in it i.e. ‘intradiegetic’, which means a character within the story recounts particular events that s/he has experienced or witnessed.  For instance in Shelley’s  ‘Ozymandias’ the persona/poet recounts what he has learnt after meeting ‘a traveller from an antique land, / Who said …’

See Other Literary Terms


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