One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounthe fourth wall
1The space which separates a performer or performance from an audience.
- ‘Our play interacted with the audience, eliminating the fourth wall.’
- ‘This phrase originated in theatrical circles where the fourth wall is the imaginary wall that separates the actors and the audience.’
- ‘Those who attend The Play About the Baby will find scant refuge behind the fourth wall that usually separates audience from actors.’
- ‘There was literally no the fourth wall in the space where they performed the play.’
- ‘Intimate scenes can be tougher to enact without the protection of the fourth wall.’
- ‘She also breaks down the fourth wall to reveal a seated audience in certain scenes.’
- ‘As all performers will know, the fourth wall is all important in the concept of theatricality.’
- ‘The experience is intentionally theatrical, a reminder of the existence of the fourth wall.’
- ‘The grey space allows Titus to break the fourth wall and speak directly to the viewer, further enhancing the experience of self-confession and intimacy.’
- ‘Together with a suitably sized matchbox to serve as the fourth wall, this created a parallelepiped volume which was filled with stacks of pennies.’
- 1.1 The conceptual barrier between any fictional work and its viewers or readers.‘he breaks the fourth wall by having Sam refer to the script and the play he's acting in’
- ‘Felix had a vaguely menacing, unsettling air of mania to his tricks, which explored the nature of cartoons themselves, often breaking the fourth wall to address the viewer directly.’
- ‘At the moment when the fourth wall breaks, the film stock changes to one that hasn't been color corrected.’
- ‘For instance, comedians didn't seem to mind breaking the fourth wall by talking straight to the audience.’
- ‘Within the first ten seconds of the debut episode of Hustle, the character gives a knowing smirk directly into the fourth wall.’
- ‘And if there is one thing I have learned from television, it's don't break the fourth wall.’
- ‘At the episode's conclusion, he literally breaks the fourth wall by bringing The X-Files ' credits onto the screen.’
- ‘That breaking down of the fourth wall is what hooks Émard into continuing to create.’
- ‘Willis grinned his way through every episode, often breaking the fourth wall with sarcastic comments for the audience at home.’
- ‘But Hope does more than his usual shtick of self-referential gags and breaking the fourth wall.’
- ‘There's no real central character per se, and the show always skirts within inches of the fourth wall to remind us of that fact.’
Originally used of the proscenium opening in a theater through which the audience sees the action of a play.
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