Semiotics and Metanarrative

Emma Hansen

Definition of Semiotics

The study of signs and symbols in communication

Examples of Semiotics in Literature

In the name of rose
  • William plays the role of semiotics by constantly interpreting and studying signs and symbols
  • Symbolism in carvings, paintings, and drawings from monks reflecting on Revelations in the Bible
  • Symbolism of the title of the book
  • Symbolism in the patterns of death accruing in the story

FUN FACT: Author was a semiotics expert, he thought it to students

More Examples of Semiotics

  • Emojis
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Sign language
  • Nancy Drew

Definition of Metanarrative

A theory attempting to totalize historical events, social accounts, and cultural happenings based on universal values and truths
  • "Meta" is greek beyond ,behind, and transcendent
  • "narrative" is a story that is characterized by it's telling
  • a story with in a story: small story in the big story

Examples of Metanarrative in Literature

Name of the Rose

  • has an active narrator such as Adso
  • Adso questioning the truth
  • Also tells story from his perspective as a youth but also the perspective of his now old age
  • Adso's discernment and wisdom at the age he tells the story has an influence on the story is told

Other examples of metanarrative

  • Wizard of oz
  • Bible
  • Reality Tv: Keeping up with the Kardashian


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N.d. Duck Dynasty Beards. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.


N.d. Emoji Blog. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.


N.d. Semiotics Deducing the Hidden Message. Web. 13 Sept. 2016.


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Schwabsky, Barry. "Semiotics and Murder." The New Criterion. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.


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