Playwrights and Plays of Melodrama in the Victorian Era

Report
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...
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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...
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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.
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An illustration of two
scenes in the play.
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A sketch of the dog
Statue of the fight in the
French community of
Montargis.
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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.”
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Black-Eyed Susan was a black comedy, which
related well to the aimed audience, the
working class.
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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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