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Transcript of Victorian Melodrama
By Hannah Brown
What is a Victorian Melodrama?
A Victorian Melodrama is a play performed with lots of exageration. The word, "Melodrama," deruves from to greek words. "Melo" meaning music and "Drama" meaning play. Music was a large part of the performance, as it exagerated the way people moved, what they were thinking and made action scenes more exciting.
There are usually 6 stock characters in a melodrama:
The Hero- A dashing young man, with little money, who is usually saw as quite dumb
The Heroine- A beautiful and venerable young lady who is courages, brave and strong
The Old parent- A withered man or women who is the parent of the heroine, who can not afford to look after both themselves and their daughter
The Villain- A clever and manipulative man, sometime in love with the heroine, who usually quite rich.
The Sidekick- A stupid, clumsy and unfortunate person who always makes mistakes.
Melodrama was first performed in Germany and was called, Sturn und Drang. This style of acting was to heighten emotion and action. But there is a difference. Unlike the violence and tragedy in a Sturn und Drang performance, a Melodrama is more innocent and light.
An original Melodrama consist of 6 stock characters:
The Old parent
These sort of plays a typically, good vs evil, and this done so it is easy to see what characters are what. For example, the villain will usually wear a cape so he looks more secretive.