ERIC Number: ED196103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
A Frame Analysis of Barth's "Menelaiad".
Roberts, C. Janene
Frame analysis is an approach to social situations that can be applied profitably to literature and performance. A frame is the reality status of a situation; keys are the characteristics that define a frame. Most literary works are keying on real life frameworks. Literary works that are based on other literary works, such as parodies, are rekeyings, just as a performance of literature is a rekeying of the text from the print medium to the stage. Frame analysis can facilitate that transformation by identifying the frames of a text and the keys that define them. It is essential that a performance of literature establish through staging, lighting, performance style, and other keys the same frames (or close analogues) that are presented in the literary text, thereby telling the audience in what kind of world or state of mind the action is occurring. A brief frame analysis of John Barth's short story "Menelaiad" reveals some of the characteristics of the story's complex framing that would have to be translated into performance. Performing "Menelaiad" would require communicating not only the opposition of firm, clear frames, but also the surprise, doubt, and ambiguity produced by overlapping frames and doubt-casting keys. The performance would also need to convey the sense of spirited fun, experimental daring, and "savoir faire" that characterize the overall framework of "Menelaiad." (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).