Direct and Indirect Speech Representation
In a moment of diegetic speech representation, Aphra Behn shares some of the final words of the title character of Oroonoko. Here, she uses indirect speech; in other words, she paraphrases the character's words with her own: "[H]e besought us, we would let him Dye . . . he assur'd us, if we did not Dispatch him, he wou'd prove very Fatal to a great many" (63).
A few moments later occurs a moment of mimetic speech representation, or imitative speech representation, as Behn represents, this time with direct, or quoted, speech, Oronooko's brave final words to his tormenters: "But if you whip me, said he, be sure you tye me fast" (64).
An important distinction between diegetic and mimetic speech representation is that the latter is thought to make for the increased verisimilitude of a narrative. It may be important to note, as well, that mimetic speech representations need not be set off by quotation marks, though this is often the case. Other indicators of direct speech include attributive tags such as "she remarked" or "they cried," as well as shifts in tense and pronoun reference.