A ‘tearful play’, in other words a tear-jerking sentimental drama. A kind of French sentimental comedy inclining to melodrama that flourished briefly in the mid-18th century. These plays were usually in verse, and were intricately plotted exhibitions of the virtues of patience and forgiveness. The best-known examples were Nivelle de la Chaussée's Mélanide (1741) and Madame de Graffigny's prose play Cénie (1750).
Subjects: Literature — Theatre.