Tuesday, February 4, 2014

1.  In Playing the Race Card, it is highlighted that many famous melodramas "all share the common function of revealing moral good in a world where virtue has become hard to read."  Would revenge on a villain be considered "moral good"?

A major, pervasive theme of melodrama is moral legibility, as explained by Williams -- it seeks to dispel ambiguity, complexity, and irony. Revenge on a villain is actually a major theme in many works of all time periods. Trauma, pain, and suffering are classic attributes of the literary hero, many times caused by such a villain. A hero's revenge would usually be considered moral good, gaining retribution against he who wronged him. That's not to say that there isn't a gray area. Another trope of many literary works is the fall of a hero. Revenge can twist a hero, even causing him to become a mirror image of what he despises the most. It is here where melodrama stops being just black and white, simply good vs. evil. 

2.     Williams mentions, and gives examples, of the usage of melodrama in the media. Is it possible for a news organization to be successful without the use of melodramatic elements?

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