Rocznik Komparatystyczny

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Lista wydań / 11 (2020)
Introducing Melodrama

Autorzy: Beata Zawadka
Uniwersytet Szczeciński
Słowa kluczowe: melodramat
Data publikacji całości:2020
Liczba stron:4 (7-10)


For an average reader/viewer, melodrama is, and at the same same is not, a firstchoice genre. This oxymoronic approach to melodrama results from the fact that, in mass perception, the convention performs as, first and foremost, a text whose underlying aim is to reveal emotional truths via dramatic action. Melodrama’s affective provenance is, therefore, to blame for the popular demarcation of the genre in ‘womanly’ terms. Considering the still unequal, if not degraded, position of women in the global patriarchal system, such a delimitation entails, in turn, the further conceptualisation of the melodramatic convention as a provider for simplified emotions, stereotypical characters, and, last but not least, Manichean philosophy as determinants of the said ‘emotional truths’ to discover. It is no wonder, then, that audiences do (not) favour melodrama: its excessive binary drive – which tends to allegedly re/construct the world envisioned as an extensive network of moral absolutes hence of clichés and formulas – seems to confine viewers of melodramatic fictions, too, in the category of the undemanding, even the debased; thereby an embodiment of the victimisations which melodrama typically stigmatises and with which it at the same time sympathises.
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Plik artykułu


1.Brooks, Peter. The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.
2.Langford, Barry. Film Genre. Hollywood and Beyond. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005.
3.Williams, Linda. “Melodrama Revised.” Refiguring American Film Genres. Theory and History. Ed. Nick Browne. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. 42–88.