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Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

In Medias Res


A little Latin anyone? Don't mind if we do!

This Latin phrase describes a story that starts in the middle of the action (literally—in medias res means "in the middle of things"). Remember Star Wars? And how it starts smack dab in the middle of an intergalactic war-to-end-all-wars? Yeah, that's in medias res.

Epics like Homer's Iliad and John Milton's Paradise Lost start in medias res. Looks like it's a technique that worked.