Narrative

5. Roland Barthes: Proairetic and Hermenuetic Codes

  • Proairetic code: action, movement, causation
  • Hermenuetic code: reflection, dialogue, character or thematic development
  • Enigma code: the way in which intrigue and ideas are raised – which encourage an audience to want more information.

Although the words proairetic and hermenuetic may seem very complex, it is easy for students to grasp in that moving image products are either based around ‘doing’ / ‘action’ or ‘talking’ / ‘reflection’. Look at this sequence from Buster Scruggs (Dir J Coen E Coen 2018), which is basically divided into ‘some talking’ (hermenuetic codes) which leads into ‘some doing’! (proairetic codes)

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