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Poster for The Perils of Pauline (1914) a melodramatic film series

A melodrama is a dramatic or literary work where the plot is sensational. It appeals strongly to the emotions. It has crude characterization. Characters are simply-drawn, and stereotyped.

Melodrama is a portmanteau word, formed by combining the words "melody" from the Greek "melōidía", meaning "song") and "drama".

A melodrama is often a Victorian style play with very simple characters: a villain, hero, heroine, policeman, damsel in distress and an elderly person (which usually ends happily). Melodramas were popular in the 1800s on the stage and in novels.

Melodrama is the exaggeration of mood, body language and facial expression.