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In tongue-in-cheek melodramas of the 1800s, villains wore black capes and laughed menacingly while they curled their long mustaches. Oftentimes these sinister men would tie damsels to railroad tracks or threaten to kick old ladies out of their soon-to-be-foreclosed homes. Audiences would boo and hiss whenever these loathsome characters crossed the stage.

These types of characters are still very popular today. In fact, scores of new melodramas are published every year. Each of these companies offer a variety of whimsical, over-the-top plays complete with dastardly bad guys:

Melodramas by Dramatic Publishing

Eldridge Plays: Melodramas and Westerns

Several melodramas from Contemporary Drama Service

However, for those who prefer a more realistic and emotionally complex antagonist, look no further than Nils Krogstad from A Doll's House.

Read this detailed character analysis of this play's so-called villain. Then, decide whether or not he is worth all the booing and hissing!


July 31, 2011 at 6:09 am
(1) fatty says:

you clearly know nothing about melodrama sir..

July 31, 2011 at 6:10 am

you clearly know nothing about melodrama good sir..

July 31, 2011 at 6:12 am
(3) MELODRAMA ROXS!!!! says:

agreed fatty! you need more info maan seriously c’mon make an effort pffffffffffffffft!

July 31, 2011 at 6:14 am
(4) POOOOOOOOO says:

um guys thats so mean he has done a good job give it a rest alright..

July 31, 2011 at 6:16 am
(5) :) says:

this is so good it helped with my assignment! thank you!!!

November 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm
(6) James says:

helped me with my drama hwk. thanks!

April 24, 2012 at 2:06 am
(7) Deni says:

Excellent work, thank you Wade!

November 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm
(8) Rosalina says:

Thank you so much this has helped with my homework, ignore all those odd people who dissed your work they are just bored idiots who think it is funny xxxxxxx

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