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Melodrama in the Victorian Era

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Emily Taylor

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of Melodrama in the Victorian Era

Melodrama in the Victorian Era
Stock Characters

• Hero – most attractive man of them all, in love with the heroine, villain’s enemy
- Status: Middle or working class
• Villain – threatens other people to get what he wants. Always wears dark clothes (black) and a cloak and some kind of mustache. Usually owns some land or is rich in a way.
- Status: high class
• Villain’s accomplice or Hero’s side kick – usually has silly ideas that can often work. Normally is a bit dumb and stupid. He is a comedic character.
- Status: Lower class
• Heroine – The ‘damsel in distress’. Often in ‘sticky situations’. In love with the hero. Innocent. Always wears bright, happy colours , never dark. She may have a deep, dark secret though.
- Status: Middle or high class

Music was always played before and after a performance and sound effects were always made using a piano and sometimes other instruments, but a piano was essential in a melodrama play!
The Victorian Era
When: The Victorian era was during the time when
Queen Victoria
was the ruler of Great Britain. This era started in 1837 (when Queen Victoria became queen), and ended in 1901 (when she died).

Where: Great Britain, Europe

Many new inventions were created during this era. Such as; in 1876, the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and the radio was invented by Guglielmo Marconi. Many more things were invented and police forces were created then too.

Life in the Victorian era was very different compared to now, but it does seem fascinating!

Roots and Basics of Victorian Melodrama
Melodrama in Great Britain was influenced by the drama performed in France, Germany and Italy. The first English melodrama performance was called ‘A Tale of Mystery’ by Thomas Holcroft in 1802. Melodrama was introduced to Great Britain for everybody to increase happiness during the 19th century.
My Own Video :)
This link will take you to a video I made by myself showing you what an entrance at a melodrama play looks like:

Audience Participation
Audience participation was encouraged a lot, so everybody enjoyed the time spent at the theatre.
At the beginning of a melodrama play, the audience was told to clap and cheer when the hero comes out, boo and hiss when the villain comes out and ‘awww’ when the heroine comes out. It was all so dramatic, but that is why the plays were so entertaining.
Most of the people in the audience that used to watch the plays were working class and since the hero was normally working class, the audience would root and cheer and want the hero to win. Possibly because in the past the wealthy could have been very mean to the working class, so of course they want their people to win.

Victorian Melodrama was usually very over-dramatic and was stereotypical. All gestures were exaggerated, so that everybody could see them, but also because melodramas were very cheesy and dramatic performances.

By Emily Taylor
The Stage
Work Cited
Leslie, Claudia. "Melodrama." Prezi.com. N.p., 12 Dec. 2012. Web. Nov. 2013. <http://prezi.com/b9hzujoafu6p/melodrama/>.
Map of Europe. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2013. <http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/maps/map_images/Europe1918.gif>.
Melodrama 1. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2013. <http://archive.shotsmag.co.uk/columns/ripley/images1109/Villain.jpg>.
Powell, Jack. "Fun Facts About the Victorian Era | EHow." EHow. Demand Media, 14 June 2011. Web. Nov. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/info_8591910_fun-victorian-era.html>.
Queen Victoria. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2013. <http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/images/hanover/queen_victoria.jpg>.
"The Victorian Period." The Victorian Period. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2013. <http://faculty.unlv.edu/kirschen/handouts/victorian.html>.
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