Study Option: Melodrama

Drama and Theatre Arts, School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

College of Arts and Law


Code 23270

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester 1

Pre-requisite modules You must have completed at least two years of appropriate study in this discipline.

Module description

This module will explore melodrama as a performance genre across the media of theatre and screen. We will look at melodrama as a performance mode of extreme feeling, emerging from the political and social revolutions in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, and trace the ways in which melodrama endures as mass popular entertainment in early silent cinema, the `woman’s film,’ and television soap opera. We will consider the ideological and social meanings of melodrama, and the ways in which it constructs gender, class, and race. Each melodramatic text will be studied in the context of theoretical writings on melodrama, ideology, and emotion.