Melodrama

Dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters to appeal to the emotions / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A modern melodrama is a dramatic work in which the plot, typically sensationalized and for a strong emotional appeal, takes precedence over detailed characterization. Melodramas typically concentrate on dialogue that is often bombastic or excessively sentimental, rather than action. Characters are often flat, and written to fulfill stereotypes. Melodramas are typically set in the private sphere of the home, focusing on morality and family issues, love, and marriage, often with challenges from an outside source, such as a "temptress", a scoundrel, or an aristocratic villain. A melodrama on stage, filmed, or on television is usually accompanied by dramatic and suggestive music that offers cues to the audience of the drama being presented.

Honor%C3%A9_Daumier_026.jpg
Mélodrame painted by Honoré Daumier between 1855 and 1860, depicting a typical Parisian scene as was the case on Boulevard du Temple.

In scholarly and historical musical contexts, melodramas are Victorian dramas in which orchestral music or song was used to accompany the action. The term is now also applied to stage performances without incidental music, novels, films, television, and radio broadcasts. In modern contexts, the term "melodrama" is generally pejorative,[1] as it suggests that the work in question lacks subtlety, character development, or both. By extension, language or behavior which resembles melodrama is often called melodramatic; this use is nearly always pejorative.[citation needed]

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