Shaw Is The Melodramaist Of The Intellect' - Holbrook Jackson. Discuss With Reference To Plays By Gb Shaw.

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Shaw is the melodramaist of the intellect' - Holbrook Jackson. Discuss with reference to plays by GB Shaw. Melodrama is a term coined in 1789. Originally, The Oxford English Dictionary defines melodrama as 'a genre comprising any of the types of melodramatic work, especially excitement by exagerration and sensationalism' (1). Wikipedia has a more specific definition, noting that 'There is a tidy structure or formula to melodrama: (typically) a villain poses a threat, the hero escapes the threat (or rescues the heroine) and there is a happy ending. In melodrama there is constructed a world of heightened emotion, stock characters and a hero who rights the disturbance to the balance of good and evil in a universe with a clear moral division.' In his book, the Melodramatic Imagination, Brooks focuses instead on what the word connotes; 'the indulgence of strong emotionalism; moral polarisation and schematization; extreme states of being, situations, actions; overt villainy, persecution of the good, and final reward of virtue; inflated and extravagant expression; dark plottings, suspense, breathtaking peripety' (p 11-12). During the nineteenth century, melodrama developed and flourished as a distinctive genre in the theatre. These melodramatic plays had immense popular appeal throughout the nineteenth century. These plays depicted a world with a very uncomplicated 'moral legibility' (3). In the simplified world of the melodrama, ... Equally, this (stripped to basics) reconstituted (?) world was deliberately made easy to interpret; the characters, once on stage, were generally quick to reveal to the audience their designs, personality and moral alignment; . A world in which ... , a kind of dream in which 'black and white'. (musing on audience's reasons for attending. In fact, x specifically comments ''. ? summarises the characteristic features of melodrama; ''.
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