Well Made Play

This form developed in early nineteenth-century France, and the term (usually used derogatorily) describes dramas which conformed to a specific structure of Exposition, Development, Complication & Denouement. Scribe and Sardou are most associated with these heavily formulaic plays, but even Ibsen imitated the form in his early works. While they were technically perfect with the rise and fall of action creating suspense in the appropriate places and moving the action forward, they became totally predictable and began to lack originality. The closest modern example of a traditional well made play is the televised soap opera. (See also Climax, Crisis, and Obligatory Scene)

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