Melodrama: how melodrama has changed from the influences of "A Touch Of Silk" by Betty Rowland and "The Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll" By Ray Lawler.

Essay by LainaCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2003

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By extension, the term melodrama has come to be applied to any play with romantic plot in which the author manipulates events to act on the emotions of the audience without regard for character development or logic.

Melodrama had very 'stock' characters, in other words they were very stereotypical characters, and all the action happened on stage. Melodramatic plays were also morality based - that is Right Vs. Wrong.

Before The Touch of Silk by Betty Roland was written in 1928, Australian drama was very melodramatic.

The Touch of Silk overtly draws on some of the dramatic conventions of 19th century melodrama, but Roland tried to steer away from melodrama and instead has based The Touch of Silk on naturalism.

Every act of melodrama concludes with a climax, leaving the audience, which was usually the illiterate commoners, hanging on for the resolution.

People were now smarter because Public Education has been introduced and schooling had become compulsory.

People had become educated and so Roland decided to give them something that had more meaning.

The Touch of Silk is very important because it introduced realism onto the Australian stage, you could even say it was the "birth of Australian Drama."

Jeanne was the first female to be the main character in a play. Before that they had males on stage and females had minor roles. Jeanne was the first female protagonist on the Australian stage.

Roland had introduced "feminine themes" such as relationships, in The Touch of Silk, and also "The Human Condition" theme. The "Human Condition" is reality. It is real life problems and relationships. These are things that her audience can relate to. In The Touch of Silk, there are "Human Condition" issues such as; the drought and the war that Jim was once in many years...