Update
The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Dismiss

Related Content

Related Overviews

René-Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt (1773—1844)

Thomas Holcroft (1745—1809) writer

Douglas Jerrold (1803—1857) playwright and journalist

Dion Boucicault (1820—1890) playwright and actor

See all related overviews in Oxford Reference »

 

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Performing arts
  • Theatre

GO

Show Summary Details

Overview

melodrama


Quick Reference

Originally, a stage-play (typically romantic and sensational in plot and incident) with songs interspersed and action accompanied by appropriate orchestral music. As the musical element ceased to be regarded as essential, the word came to mean a sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters and exciting events intended to appeal to the emotions.

Recorded from the early 19th century, the word comes via French from Greek melos ‘music’ 7plus; French drame ‘drama’.

Subjects: Performing artsTheatre


Reference entries

View all reference entries »