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Proper literary term for ‘play within a play’?

Hamlet is a good example of this with 'The Mousetrap'. I've tried searching for an actual literary term that means 'a play within a play', but I've come out empty handed?

Do any of you know what the proper literary term is, or is it just called 'play within a play'?
Reply 1
I've only ever seen it referred to as a 'nested play' or 'play within a play'
Reply 2
Original post by gjd800
I've only ever seen it referred to as a 'nested play' or 'play within a play'

Well, that sounds ****ing **** lol.

Thanks for the response anyway. I thought so after searching for a while with no positive results haha.
Reply 3
Original post by Tolgarda
Well, that sounds ****ing **** lol.

Thanks for the response anyway. I thought so after searching for a while with no positive results haha.

:laugh:

yeah, it's a bit bulky/cumbersome!
metaplay?
Reply 5
Mise en abyme.
Reply 6
But I'm sure you'll get credit for 'play within a play'. That's pretty universal.
Original post by Davy611
Mise en abyme.

Nice. Are you an art historian?
Reply 8
Original post by Davy611
Mise en abyme.

Nice, I'd not come across this before!
Original post by gjd800
Nice, I'd not come across this before!

Me neither. Managed to get through a whole English A level on Hamlet, just using ‘play within a play.’ It hurts to think about those needlessly wasted marks.
Reply 10
Original post by entertainmyfaith
metaplay?

You see, I tried that, but that's a little different to a nested play because a nested play doesn't necessarily have ot be about the play itself.

Original post by Davy611
But I'm sure you'll get credit for 'play within a play'. That's pretty universal.

I know, but I thought there was a more sophisticated-sounding, elegant term for the word. The vocabulary of literary criticism definitely has words like that out there and I just thought there would be one here.
Original post by Davy611
Mise en abyme.

Ah, but is that not used for images and not necessarily literature? :wink:
Reply 11
metadrama

Original post by Tolgash
Hamlet is a good example of this with 'The Mousetrap'. I've tried searching for an actual literary term that means 'a play within a play', but I've come out empty handed?

Do any of you know what the proper literary term is, or is it just called 'play within a play'?
It's called metatheatre.

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