A melodrama is a play which contains the characters that show stronger emotions than real people do. This kind of drama has a musical accompaniment to intensify the effects of certain scenes. Therefore, melodrama is an exaggerated drama as it includes exaggerated characters and exciting events; with the aim of appealing to the emotions of the audience. Simply, it deals with romantic and sensational topics.
Live music was incorporated in melodrama to heighten the senses in the performances and mark entrances and exits.
Melodramatic plays do not deliver much in themes but have a major concern of entertaining the audience. They are in a sense, plays meant for pleasure more than any moral lessons.
Features of Melodrama
Melodramatic plays depict the following features:
- Strong facial expressions;
- Large quick movements and gestures;
- Clear, well projected delivery of lines by, for instance, being extremely loud;
- Extensive use of live music;
- Excessive use of hyperbole of characters and reactions to situations: for example, loud prolonged laughter, extreme anger pangs and so forth.