Essay Module 3
September 13, 2013
Evaluating Frame Narratives
The frame narrative is a compilation of short stories within the body of a longer story. The primary story is the frame. The frame connects the shorter stories which can be unrelated to each other. The narrator of the primary story helps the reader to transition into the shorter stories. Each short story within the frame has its own narrator. This narrator perspective may differ from the primary narrator. Examples of this literary element are displayed in three of the texts assigned. These texts are: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, and The Thousand and One Nights.
The three authors use the narrative frame to give structure to the short stories helping the reader to visualize the environment of the shorter stories. This literary technique is a helpful tool. The frame guides the reader through each story effectively. It helps give the reader some clarification and insight into the authors /narrators thinking. I think that the frame narrative greatly contributes to the meanings of the stories. I believe that the primary narrator clues the reader in to the meanings of the stories.
Metamorphoses, by Ovid, is a story written in the style of the narrative frame. It is an epic poem, in the form of fifteen books. So, it is not the traditional narrative frame story. Ovid lived and wrote about Ancient Rome. During his time there, Rome was full of immoralities and other lewd behavior. This atrocious behavior has angered the gods. The narrator is praying to the gods for help and forgiveness.
First, the narrator prays to the gods for inspiration, lays out his theme (metamorphosis), and states his intention to write a single continuous poem that stretches from the origins of the world to his own day. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Metamorphoses.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 13 Sept. 2013.
This is where the frame’s structure is given. Each book tells a...