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The Distinctive Feature of Acting Style for Melodrama and Realism

Hong Jaebeom 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims at examining the distinctive feature of acting style for melodrama and realism. Melodrama is defined as a form of exaggeration. The meaning of exaggeration here encompasses the level of content for play and the level of form for performance simultaneously. The exaggeration in melodramas grows from excessive emotions of characters by themselves and moral occult which ends with encouraging good and punishing evil. Characters express themselves by maximizing a single sentiment according to the labeling of good or evil as if it were assigned symbols to them. The do not represent any other internal concerns expect for that. Therefore, acting also focuses on revealing an explosive state of emotion by reflecting such properties of characters as they are. Realism attempts to embody contemporary everyday reality as it comes excluding exaggerative elements in melodramas. Realism rejects a single emotional state of melodramas and focuses on embody ambivalent property of the characters. This study made efforts to overcome the phenomenon fixated in a certain direction by discovering dominant psychological state of characters and elements placed in antipode. This can be embodied by actively using the subtext, hidden meaning of dialogue. It is very possible that realism acting which lacks subtext easily leads to be melodrama. For example, in case of the scenes where the conflicts between main characters in <Gengangere> by Ibsen become sharp without including subtext and embody only superficial emotion, it is likely to be archetypal antagonistic relationships between good and evil of melodramas. It is etude for character figuration that prevents from this error. As an actor performs freely in a plausible situation which can happen in space and time and is not presented in the play, the actor gradually narrows down the gap between the character and him and extends the point which accords the actor with the character. This enables subtext to be activated and thus the actors are able to think and act as a natural character.

Citation status

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