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Barthes Narrative Codes


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Media Work

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Barthes Narrative Codes

  1. 1. Barthes Narrative Codes Rae Griffiths
  2. 2. Introduction It has bee suggested by Barthes that in reading a text, the importance is not in the interpretation of the content but rather, in the appreciation of the different elements which makes the story. Barthes presented 5 codes which may be used: •Enigma code •Action code •Semantic code •Symbolic code •Referential code.
  3. 3. Enigma Code •This code refers to mystery within a text. Clues are dropped, but no clear answers are given •Enigmas within the narrative make the audience want to know more •The enigma code is used in the building up of anticipation which is not directly answered but left to the audience to decide on their thoughts on the storyline. •When using it in media, its often seen as attractive because there is an element of the audience getting drawn in. To many people, the storyline may be evocative of events in their life and engaging, it may produce more interest.
  4. 4. Action Code •This code contains sequential elements of action in the text •Proairectic elements add suspense to the text
  5. 5. Semantic Code •This code refers to parts within the text that suggests or refers to additional meanings •Elements of the semantic code are called seme’s •The seme has a connotative function in the text. It has an extra layer of meaning in addition to its literal meaning.
  6. 6. Symbolic Code •This code is about symbolism within a text •It exercises opposites to show contrast and create greater meaning, creating tension, drama and character development.
  7. 7. Referential Code •The referential code refers to anything in the code that has an existing accepted meaning, this may be scientific, historical, sociological or in any accepted area. •It may be argued that many forms of modern media include an element of referential coding as it is this that leads to a loyal audience as they recognise their own life's in the text.