The UVic Writer's Guide


Literature is said to be self-reflexive when the author deliberately draws attention to the fictional nature of the work.

The play-within-the-play is an example, as is the moment when Cleopatra, aware of Caesar's desire to lead her in triumph, reminds her audience of the child actor who is speaking the lines: in Rome she will see "some squeaking Cleopatra boy [her] greatness / I'the likeness of a whore." (See metadrama, metafiction.)

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated September 23, 1995