Formerly, a kind of drama having a musical accompaniment to intensify the effect of certain scenes. Now, a drama abounding in romantic sentiment and agonizing situations, with a musical accompaniment only in parts which are especially thrilling or pathetic. In opera, a passage in which the orchestra plays a somewhat descriptive accompaniment, while the actor speaks; as, the melodrama in the gravedigging scene of Beethoven's "Fidelio".
a play with extravagant theatricality, superficial characterization, and predominance of plot and physical action. Example: "The Pedestrian," a melodrama by Ray Bradbury, 2m.
A type of drama employing music to heighten or underscore the emotional content. Plots typically are founded upon situations in which virtue is ultimately rewarded.
A genre where the actions and the emotions are often in excess and where the lines of good and evil are clearly defined. Titanic and Gone With the Wind are two examples. With this type of film, realism is not the intent.
As the term is applied in opera, melodrama refers to a dramatic composition, or section of a composition, in which one or more actors recite to a musical commentary. The style became popular in the second half of the 18th century, especially in opÃ©ra comique. The most successful examples of its power of heightening the dramatic tension are in the grave-digging scene in Beethovenâ€™s Fidelio and in the Wolfâ€™s Glen Scene in Weberâ€™s Der FreischÃ¼tz.
spoken text over music, popular from the late 18th century onwards.
n. a play in which there are so much violence, feelings and exaggerations that it does not seem to be true.
A serious play that arouses intense emotion and usually has a happy ending.
Originally a term for musical theatre, by the nineteenth century this became the designation of a suspenseful, plot-oriented drama featuring all-good heroes, all-bad villains, simplistic dialogue, soaring moral conclusions, and bravura acting.
an extravagant comedy in which action is more salient than characterization
plays with elaborate but oversimplified plots, flat characters, excessive sentiment, and happy endings
A dramatic genre characterized by suspense, romance, and sensation. Melodramas typically have a happy ending.
overly dramatic, larger than life
play in which the typical plot is a conflict between character s who personify extreme good and evil. Melodramas usually end happily and emphasize sensationalism. Other literary forms that use the same techniques are often labeled "melodramatic." The term was formerly used to describe a combination of drama and music; as such, it was synonymous with " opera." Augustin Daly's Under the Gaslight and Dion Boucicault's The Octoroon, The Colleen Bawn, and The Poor of New York are examples of melodramas. The most popular media for twentieth-century melodramas are motion pictures and television. (Compare with drama.)
play with exaggerated plot and emotion.
overly dramatic presentation similar to burlesque and farce. For more, see Gadabout Coins Revisited.
In theatre, melodrama developed in the nineteenth century and provided a way of looking at a difficult issue to do with moral behaviour. Modern day television soap operas are derived from this tradition.
a genre with an opposition between good and evil, in which good prevails.
A dramatic form popular in the 1800s and characterized by an emphasis on plot and physical action (versus characterization), cliff-hanging events, heart-tugging emotional appeals, the celebration of virtue, and a strongly moralistic tone.
a film or literary work marked by "good guys" vs. "bad guys," unexpected plot twists, surprise endings, action and suspense. Examples: Most horror movies and detective thrillers.