Direct discourse

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Direct discourse refers to the quoted words of a character given by the narrator.

Contents


Definition

Direct discourse and its counterpart, indirect discourse, both deal with the way a narrator captures the words of a character. Direct discourse makes an effort at mimesis, attempting to represent exactly what a character says--this many times involves both "tag phrases" and narrator commentary in between. Sometimes referred to as "direct speech."

Examples

Direct discourse: "John said:--I am doing it."

Indirect discourse: "John said that he was doing it." (Prince 21).

Critical Debates

{is the term contested, challenged, defined differently, etc.?}

Related Terms

discourse
indirect discourse

References

Prince, Gerald. Dictionary of Narratology University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, 2003.

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