Library of Congress

Authorities & Vocabularies

The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Genre/Form Terms (LCGFT)

From Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms


Melodramas (Drama)


  • Plays that emphasize plot, action, and exaggerated emotion at the expense of characterization.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Melodramas (Drama)
  • Variants

    • Melodramatic plays
  • Broader Terms

  • Narrower Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Wilson, E. The theater experience, c2004, via McGraw-Hill Higher Education online learning center, Nov. 14, 2012:glossary (Melodrama: Historically, a distinct form of drama popular throughout the nineteenth century which emphasized action, suspense, and spectacular effects; generally melodrama used music to heighten the dramatic mood. Melodrama had stock characters and clearly defined villains and heroes, and it presented unambiguous confrontations between good and evil.)
    • found: Kennedy, X.J. The Longman dictionary of literary terms, c2006(Melodrama. Melodramas were stage plays featuring background music and songs to underscore the emotional mood of each scene. Melodramas were weak in characterization and plot but strong in action, suspense, and passion. Characters were stereotyped villains, heroes, and young lovers, and plots followed formulae of good vs. evil, love triumphant, and daring rescues)
    • found: Quinn, E. A dictionary of literary and thematic terms, c1999(melodrama. A type of drama that highlights suspense and romantic sentiment, with characters who are usually either clearly good or bad. As its name implies, the form frequently uses a musical background to underscore or heighten the emotional tone of a scene; first achieved great popularity on the 19th-century stage; its appeal continues today in many films and television plays)
    • found: Wikipedia, Nov. 6, 2012(The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions; an alternative English spelling, now obsolete, is "melodrame")
  • General Notes

    • Plays that emphasize plot, action, and exaggerated emotion at the expense of characterization.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-22: revised
  • Alternate Formats

Suggest terminology


The LC Linked Data Service welcomes any suggestions you might have about terminology used for a given heading or concept.

Would you like to suggest a change to this heading?

Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes.

Fields denoted with an asterisk (*) are required.