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Tag: 19th century

Melodrama Resources for Students and Teachers

Melodrama, derived from the Greek “melos” (music) and the French “drame” (drama), was a form of theatrical entertainment popular in Europe and America from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. While melodramatic plots were often romantic depictions of everyday life showcasing heightened emotions (stemming from earlier sentimental dramas), the staging of these was nothing short of spectacular. Characters were usually archetypal figures such as villains, victims and heroes.

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Naturalism Theatre Resources

The naturalistic theatre movement emerged in the mid 19th century and was first introduced by French novelist, critic and playwright Emile Zola in the preface to his novel Thérèse Raquin (1867), which the author later adapted into a stage play (first performed in 1873). Naturalism demanded a slice of life authenticity in every aspect of production and is not to be confused with realism.

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Problem Play Resources

The problem play, or play of ideas, contains strong characterisation and topical social issues. The genre is typically thought to have reached its maturity in the late 1800s with some of the works of Henrik Ibsen such as A Doll’s House (1879), Ghosts (1882), and An Enemy of the People (1882). These realistic social dramas frankly portrayed current social issues on the stage.

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