Popular form of theatre and literature in the 1800’s Originated in France Popular in England, France, and America
Characteristics of Melodrama Stock characters Companies toured Plot driven, not character driven Implausible plots Good vs. Evil-hero always wins (clear cut morality) Focused on the suffering of an innocent Climaxes at the end of every act Included emotional appeals through which an author could introduce controversial views without offending
The melodramatic and implausible plot Based on classical tragic structure, but is plot driven rather than character driven Hero always triumphs in the end Good vs. evil (clear cut morality) Focused on the suffering of an innocent Climaxes at the end of every act Included emotional appeals through which an author could introduce controversial views without offending
Stock Characters Heroes have no tragic flaw (no kryptonite for the melodramatic hero)
Stock Characters Heroines are completely beautiful, perfect, and innocent
Stock Characters Villains are as evil as the devil himself
Stock Characters The virtuous maiden was always threatened by the villain and then she was saved by the hero
Other characteristics of the plot… Treated common people with dignity Increased focus on historical accuracy, especially in representing the exotic or folkways of a certain ethic group.
Spectacular! Staged spectacles (natural disasters, animals on stage, etc.) Increased realism on stage with use of level stage floor, movable scenery, and the introduction of box sets
Answer this question How does Melodrama fit the characteristics of Romanticism?
Open-Response Melodramas include characteristics such as implausible plots, stock characters, respect for common people, spectacular staging, cliffhangers, good vs. evil, and emotional appeals. Choose a modern-day melodrama from film, TV or theatre and explain how it fits THREE of the characteristics of melodrama.