Diegetic levels

Use for Narrative levels. See also Framing and embedding

Diegetic levels, sometimes referred to as narrative levels, describe the relations between an act of narration and the diégèse, i.e. the story as a whole universe or world. Following Christian Metz (c1971, 1974: 97-98), diégèse can be is understood as the spatiotemporal universe within which a story takes place. In the case of a cinematic film, Metz’s chosen field of analysis, this means everything which constitutes or belongs to the world projected by the film, and not only visually.

Narrative levels are frequently understood to correspond to narrative framing or embedding. The two notions coincide to some extent, but it is essential to remember that narrative levels extend into areas not generally taken into account in non-narratological discussions of framing and embedding.


Metz, Christian (c1971, 1974). Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

edited 4 September, 2018 by Allan Parsons

Associated Practices

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