The Metadiegetic Narrative Level
The metadiegetic narrative level is one embedded within the intradiegetic level, which, of course, is likewise embedded within the extradiegetic level. Thus, a metadiegetic narrative is essentially a story within a story within a story. A metadiegetic narrator is one who exists within a storyworld depicted by one of the characters of the primary narrative and who shares, with his or her fellow character(s), a narrative of his or her own.
It is at the metadiegetic narrative level of Sarah Fielding's The Governess, then, that one learns of the history of the fairy Sybella. At the extradiegetic level of Fielding's novel is, of course, the story of Mrs. Teachum and her young female pupils: "There lived in the Northern Parts of England, a Gentlewoman who undertook the Education of young Ladies . . . " (49). Within this narrative level, at its intradiegetic level, one of these pupils, Miss Jenny Peace, shares the fairy tale of Princess Hebe with the others: "Above Two thousand Years ago, there reigned over the Kingdom of Tonga, a King whose Name was
Abdallah . . ." (112). Further embedded within this fairy tale, at the metadiegetic level, is the life history of one of its main characters, the fairy Sybella: "My Father, said the Fairy, was a Magician: He married a Lady for Love, whose Beauty far outshone that of all her
Neighbors . . . (117).