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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although melodrama is often considered specifically in national contexts, it is also a transnational phenomenon. Individual melodramas take on different meanings in new locations, while melodrama as a genre changes over time. Evidence of this can be seen, for instance, in the way the supernatural is gradually subsumed by psychology. Melodrama is a fluid genre that eludes easy definition and many plays now described as melodramas were not so defined by their original authors. Melodrama is not antipathetic to realism, but often complements or even makes use of reality, especially when confronting the problems of modernity. It helps to mediate reality and even provides agency to its spectators in their interaction with the world around them.

Keywords: melodrama, transnational, supernatural, realism, spectacle, modernity

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