Playwrights and Plays of Melodrama in the Victorian Era

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Comedy
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By Adam and Manon

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Melodrama was very popular in the Victorian Era. The plays consisted of:  Over dramatic plots.  Outsized emotion.  The genre of most melodramatic plays was comedy, this is probably a major reason why melodrama became popular.  Over simplified characters such as...

The first melodramatic play is often considered to be August Von Kotzebue’s “Misanthropy and Repentance” also known as “The Stranger “ of 1798. Kotzebue was viewed unfavourably by critics, the majority of whom saw his work as immoral. He took a cosmopolitan view, writing his plays for many different cultures and nationalities. He was unpopular amongst German student nationalist because he spoke up against their anti-Semitic views. Kotzebue’s plays established melodrama as the dominant dramatic form of the early 19th century. His along with the famous Rene Charles Guilbert de Pixerecourt...

Best known for the modern melodrama such as “the Dog of Montarges”. He was French but wrote melodramatic plays that were performed in Victorian theatre. FUN FACT!!!! The plot is based on a legend from the 14th Century, that survived in a letter a man are murdered in 1371 by King Charles V’s rival Robert Macaire in the forest near Bondy. Aubry's hound, the only creature that actually witnessed the murder, succeeds in bringing suspicion on Macaire. The king decides it would be God's will to allow the dog and the accused to fight.

An illustration of two scenes in the play.

A sketch of the dog

Statue of the fight in the French community of Montargis.

The audience were largely working class and he appealed to this with his plays such as “Black Eyed Susan”. The story concerns a sailor, William, who returns to England from the Napoleonic Wars and finds that his wife Susan is being harassed by her crooked landlord and later by his drunken, sly captain, who tries to seduce her. The play is a nautical melodrama, which means it is a melodrama which takes place or is set around the sea. “I am proud to have helped in this success in obtaining freedom for the people’s amusement. Never again will you be deprived of free theatre.”

Black-Eyed Susan was a black comedy, which related well to the aimed audience, the working class.

Irish born and student at the University of Oxford. He did not write melodrama, but was a significant playwright of the Victorian era. A majority of his plays were comedic. Wilde’s most distinctive and engaging plays are the four comedies; Lady Windermere’s Fan, An Ideal Husband, A Woman of No Importance and The Importance of Being Earnest.

I found that quite interesting indeed!

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