"in media res" (Latin)

by Craig Shrives

What does the Latin term in media res mean?

"In media res" is a Latin phrase that translates to "in the midst of things" or "into the middle of things." It refers to a narrative technique commonly used in literature, film, and storytelling where the story begins in the middle of the action, rather than starting from the beginning. Rather than following a chronological order, "in media res" thrusts the audience or reader directly into a pivotal or exciting moment of the narrative, often creating intrigue and suspense. The backstory or events leading up to that point are then revealed through flashbacks, dialogue, or other storytelling devices.

Examples in Sentences

Here are three example sentences demonstrating the usage of "in media res":
  • The epic fantasy novel starts in media res, with the protagonist engaged in a life-or-death battle against a powerful enemy.
  • The movie opens in media res, with a high-speed chase scene that leaves the audience wondering how the characters ended up in that situation.
  • The short story plunges readers in media res, right in the middle of a heated argument between two main characters, leaving them curious about the events that led to the conflict.
in media res (meaning)

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