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18 th AND 19 th CENTURY THEATRE: Sentimentalism, Romanticism and Melodrama PowerPoint Presentation
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18 th AND 19 th CENTURY THEATRE: Sentimentalism, Romanticism and Melodrama

18 th AND 19 th CENTURY THEATRE: Sentimentalism, Romanticism and Melodrama

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18 th AND 19 th CENTURY THEATRE: Sentimentalism, Romanticism and Melodrama

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  1. 18th AND 19thCENTURY THEATRE:Sentimentalism,Romanticismand Melodrama

  2. Many people objected to the disreputable antics of the Restoration plays • They disliked: crudeness, sexual comment and innuendo, lack of morals • Partly as a reaction, new types of plays were written and performed • These new plays were Sentimental dramas, aimed at being the opposite of the bawdy Restoration plays

  3. Sentimentalism • Sentimentalism relates to feelings or emotions • Sentimental drama aimed at touching the feelings of the audience deeply • Successful sentimental plays made audience members sympathise, feel sorry for characters in the play, and created emotional reactions • Audience members might cry or feel worried and anxious

  4. Plots and acting aimed at invoking sympathy • Stories usually had happy endings • Plots could involve comedy or tragedy • There were often many terrible events before the happy, or tragic ending • Good people were always rewarded • The bad were left dead or despairing

  5. Sentimental plays created a magical world with incredible twists of fate • However much the good characters suffered they were rewarded in the end, and lived happily ever after • The stories were not believable • But they were entertaining and escapist

  6. The plays worked on the audience members’ emotions • The theatre gave people the opportunity to express their emotions freely in a safe and accepting environment • Sentimental plays were very popular especially with middle class people

  7. Playwrights: Samuel Foote

  8. Samuel Foote in “The Devil has Two Sticks”

  9. The Playwrights: Richard Cumberland

  10. Some of Cumberland’s Plays • Favourite theme: virtue in distress or danger • The Fashionable Lover • The Brothers • The West-Indian • He wrote more than 35 plays, mostly sentimentalist in style.

  11. Playwrights: Richard Sheridan

  12. “The Rivals” by Sheridan

  13. Sheridan is the most famous of the sentimentalist playwrights.Many of his plays are still performed today.

  14. Melodrama • By 1800, Sentimentalism gave way to Melodrama • Melodramas were still sentimental but they developed a distinct style of their own • Melodramas used the same plots as Sentimental plays • They were filled with suspense

  15. Melodramas were very emotional • Again good characters were rewarded and the bad were punished

  16. Stagecraft • Special FX • Big, colourful scenes • Excited the audiences as they were new and unusual • Music: songs, musical background • Orchestra was essential in Melodrama

  17. Action on stage was gripping and exciting • Large audiences of middle class and lower class • Audiences were often rough and loud, interrupting during the play

  18. Characteristics of Melodramas • Musical score • Sound FX • Spectacular effects and scenery • An evil villain • An innocent, good, victim heroine • The good guy/hero

  19. The Villain and Heroine

  20. More Characteristics • A narrator • Disguises • Deception • Humour • Scenes that build up suspense • Last minute rescues

  21. Melodramas were so popular they were churned out in large numbers • Few were considered to be high quality • Audiences wanted spectacle and action • ‘Incredible’ feats were performed on stage, including erupting volcanoes and horse races! (These were possible due to the invention of electrical motors) • Scenery could be painted on cloth and electronically moved behind the actors to suggest movement

  22. The Stories • Popular stories and novels were adapted for the stage • These included such stories as: • Count of Monte Cristo • Uncle Tom’s Cabin • The works of Charles Dickens

  23. Count of Monte Cristo

  24. Great Expectations

  25. Uncle Tom’s Cabin

  26. Lighting • Lighting played a major role in the success of melodrama • The invention of gas allowed for much more efficent and safer lighting • Candles and oil lighting were dangerous and now a thing of the past • Lighting could now be easily controlled • Lighting could be dimmed and brightened for special FX

  27. Romanticism • Romantic theatre started in Germany • The playwright Goethe combined Greek Tragedy with Shakespearean theatre

  28. Johann Wolfgang Goethe

  29. Most Famous Plays • “Faust” • Tale of the bored and rebellious academic who sells his soul to the devil in return for a life of extreme human experience. • “Stella” • Love and the Countess causing two suicides as lovers are spurned

  30. Faust

  31. “Stella” • Love and the Countess causing two suicides as lovers are spurned

  32. A Modern Version of Goethe’s “Stella”

  33. Romantic theatre had nothing to do with love and romance in particular • It was a description for a movement, or style of art, music or drama • Romantics lived deeply • They were influenced by ancient classics • They often combined all the arts

  34. Romantic artists would paint popular poems • Musicians would write a musical score based a play • Romantics valued: • Emotions • Ideals • Freedom They emphasised the role of the arts to inspire people

  35. “The Lady of Shallot”poem by Wordsworthpainting by Waterhouse

  36. Romantic poets were adored • Wordsworth • Byron • Shelley • Keats • Tennyson They lived with heart and passion. The Romantics valued imagination and spirituality

  37. Wordsworth

  38. Byron

  39. Shelley

  40. Mary Shelley, his wife • Author of “Frankenstein”

  41. Keats

  42. Tennyson

  43. Acting in romantic plays was: poetic, flowing, very emotional and dramatic • Today’s audiences would probably find Sentimental, Melodramatic and Romantic plays too exaggerated and emotional to take seriously