Roland Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist and critic. He suggested that there would be 5 codes of which one or more would describe the meaning of a text.
He also said that texts may be "open", meaning that there are a lot of different ways of interpretation. However, they could also be "closed", meaning that there is only one obvious interpretation.
The 5 codes were named the following:
- Enigma code - Refers to mystery in a text, clues are dropped but no clear answers are given. Makes the audience want to know more. Unanswered Enigmas tend to frustrate the audience.
- Action code - Contains elements of action in the text and these elements are used to create suspense within the audience.
- Semantic code - Refers to parts within a text that suggests or refers to additional meanings. The elements of the semantic code are known as semes. This seme has an extra "layer" of meaning in addition to it's literal meaning.
- Symbolic code - This code is about symbolism within the text. It is creating greater meaning, tension, drama and character development.
- Referential code - This code refers to anything within the text that gives the audience an external body of knowledge such as scientific, historical or cultural knowledge.
In Bring Me The Horizon's music video for True Friends there is an enigma code, especially with the pictures because it refers to mystery in the text, because the scenery is so depressive but on the photos the family looks really happy. There is also a symbolic code in the video, when there is the sheep, which is hanging of a ceiling. It might have a symbolic meaning such as death.