mise-en-scène

play
noun \ ˌmē-ˌzäⁿ-ˈsen , -ˈsān \

Definition of mise-en-scène

plural mise-en-scènes play \-ˈsen(z), -ˈsān(z)\
1 a :the arrangement of actors and scenery on a stage for a theatrical production
b :stage setting
2 a :the physical setting of an action (as of a narrative or a motion picture) :context
  • this ordinary house that became the mise-en-scène of an extraordinary drama
  • —E. M. Lustgarten
b :environment, milieu
  • enjoyed the mise-en-scène of suburban Miami

mise-en-scène was our Word of the Day on 12/27/2012. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of mise-en-scène

French mise en scène

mise-en-scène Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of mise-en-scène

background, setting, environment, milieu, mise-en-scène mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development.
    • the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots
setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms.
    • a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting
environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development.
    • the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents
milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons.
    • an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation
mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect.
    • a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

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