What are the Stock Characters in Melodrama

A melodrama is a dramatic or literary work which has a sensational and dramatic plot, which is designed to appeal strongly to the emotions of the audience. There are often moral tales that demonstrate the battle between good and evil, and how good would triumph and bring justice and morality in society. The sensational plot of melodrama often takes precedence over detailed characterisation. Therefore, rather than having realistic and complex characters, melodramas have something called stereotypical or stock characters. These stock characters in melodrama are based on set personalities or characters.

A stock character can be defined as a stereotypical person representing a type in a conventional manner and recurring in many works.

What are the Stock Characters in Melodrama

The following stock characters can be observed in melodramas: 


The hero is moral, manly, brave, courageous and handsome. He believes in justice and fights against evil and injustice. He also saves the heroine from danger and defeats the villain.


The heroine is beautiful, kind, gentle and innocent. She is in love with the hero. She is often in some distress or danger and needs to be saved (Damsel in distress). At the end of the story, she has her happily ever after with the hero. 


The villain is the main enemy of the hero. He is evil, powerful, dishonest, vengeful, corrupt and rich. He hates the hero. In most melodramas, the villain tries to kidnap or marry the heroine.

What are the Stock Characters in Melodrama

Villain’s accomplice:

Villain’s accomplice helps the villain, but he often gets in the way of the villain. He or she is rather idiotic and stupid and provides comic relief.

Faithful servant:

The faithful servant is the accomplice of the hero. However, this character is also often portrayed as clumsy and idiotic. He is not as brave, courageous or handsome as the hero. This character often provides comic relief to the audience, just like the villain’s accomplice.

In addition to these stock characters in melodrama, we also find different stereotypical characters such as aging parents, flirtatious maids, comic servants, etc.

Since more attention is given to the plot of the melodrama, the characters are drawn very simply. This use of  stock characters also enables the audience to recognize and identify with the characters of the melodrama more easily. 

Image Courtesy:

(Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

Related pages

types of colloid fluidsabsorbance transmittanceexamples of interrogative adverbsconsonance figure of speechwhat is the difference between reflection and refractionfixture and fitting definitionis baking soda the same as bicarbonatewhat is meant by bilaterally symmetricaldifference between jowar and maizestructure of n hexanecompare and contrast mitosis and cytokinesisintermolecular bonds definitionwhat is the definition of diurnalimagery symbolismspectroscopic gayetymajor landforms of indiasome time versus sometimeamerican realism and naturalismwhat is the difference between direct and indirect objectsdefinition of endocytosismeaning of bicameral legislaturewhat is the difference between sexual and asexual reproductionindian judiciary structurenervous mental breakdownadjectives of quality and quantitytypes of multitesterpassionate cuddleexample of nouns and pronounsdifference between cpap and bipap machinesfriendly or flirtyblastocoel definitiondefine finite verbvulcanised rubber propertieshow to write amino acid sequenceisotonic solution definition chemistryeubacteria environmentunicameral legislature defineshruti and smrititrial balance explainedwhiskey vs cognacexamples of normative economicswhat is the difference between monocytes and macrophagesthe difference between pinocytosis and receptor-mediated endocytosis is thatwhat is the difference between elastic and inelastic collisionsexplain the difference between an atom and an elementdifference between pollution and pollutantoil shale vs shale oiloxyriboseadjectives of quantitysarcastic vs sardonicwhat is third person omniscient examplesconceit definition poetrywhat is the difference between brass and bronzexenogamywhat subatomic particle is involved in chemical reactionsnutritional difference between lime and lemonwhat is the meaning of alumnadogs doxinstructure of flagella and ciliaedt est time differencewhat is a collenchymasimilarities of chloroplast and mitochondriaenthalpy and entropymoth and butterfly differencedifference between phone and phonemeis the death penalty ethicalwhat is par boilingwhat is the difference between schizoaffective disorder and schizophreniaassonance definewhat is neurosis and psychosisdifference between sugarpaste and fondantwhat is the difference between a jaguar and a pantherhow does deoxyribose differ from ribose sugarpolygamy bigamycompare the phosphates sugars and bases of dna and rna