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What are the essential aspects of melodrama - Essay Example

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The hero is central to melodrama. In classical Greek dramaturgy, the term applied to a man of superhuman strength, courage and ability, who was favoured by the Gods…
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Download file to see previous pages Melodrama could be part of a play, a film, or a book. Today it is employed effectively in television serials also. It could take the form of a tragedy, a comedy, a romance or adventure. Melodrama has been used since the early nineteenth century.
According to George Rowell, (1968), pp 450-451, who had reviewed the book: The World of Melodrama by Frank Rahill, the account has the merits of a wide range and considerable detail. Manifestations of melodrama on both sides of the Atlantic are covered, and Rahill’s careful handling of the French form is notable. Melodrama was long dismissed by literary critics as good theatre but bad drama. Melodrama was more to do with quantity than quality, and appealed more to the eye than the mind. One of the chief merits of melodrama was the vitality that it possessed.
Films: During the last forty years, Douglas Sirk and his family melodramas have achieved an almost legendary status in film studies. Sirk’s work has been critically acclaimed since the 1950’s and he is universally defined as the subversive master of melodrama. Some of his works are: Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1957), and Imitation of Life (1959). He was dedicated to critiquing the bourgeoise. The sophisticated family melodramas of Sirk and others realized the genre’s historical capability to act as a revolutionary form during times of cultural struggle. Sirk demonstrated how melodrama often considered a trivial genre, could achieve the status of a serious artistic and cultural form. (Barbara Klinger, 1994, pp.xi-xii).
The relationship between melodrama and the prevailing ideology, culture and history can be noted. Critics have continually interpreted individual films as responses to times of national and social crises; from the moral dilemmas of post-revolutionary France to the class conflicts and forbidding sexual mores of the Victorian era, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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