in medias res

in medias res

[in me-di-ahs res; English in mee-dee-uhs reez, in mey-dee-ahs reys]
Latin.
in the middle of things.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To in medias res
Collins
World English Dictionary
in medias res (ɪn ˈmiːdɪˌæs ˈreɪs)
 
in or into the middle of events or a narrative
 
[literally: into the midst of things, taken from a passage in Horace's Ars Poetica]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
in medias res [(in may-dee-uhs, mee-dee-uhs rays)]

In the middle of the action. Epics often begin in medias res. For example, the Odyssey, which tells the story of the wanderings of the hero Odysseus, begins almost at the end of his wanderings, just before his arrival home. In medias res is a Latin phrase used by the poet Horace; it means “in the middle of things.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

in medias res

in narrative technique, the recommended practice of beginning an epic or other fictional form by plunging into a crucial situation that is part of a related chain of events; the situation is an extension of previous events and will be developed in later action. The narrative then goes directly forward, and exposition of earlier events is supplied by flashbacks. The principle is based on the practice of Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Iliad, for example, begins dramatically with the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon during the Trojan War. The Latin poet and critic Horace has pointed out the immediate interest created by this opening in contrast to beginning the story ab ovo ("from the egg")-i.e., from the birth of Achilles

Learn more about in medias res with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature