Another way of demonstrating my idea from the last post: the ‘Princess and the Dragon’ motif (Chesterton used this to describe melodrama in Charles Dickens).
Phase One: meet the princess. The hero encounters the princess and falls in love with her. But he cannot court her because there is some kind of threat over hanging her or some kind of obstacle in the way of their relationship.
Phase Two: the Dragon Emerges. Now the threat manifests itself. The ‘princess’ may be forever removed from the hero’s reach. Desperate measures are required, because if he fails, he will lose his true love for all time.
Phase Three: the Marriage. The hero has successfully slain the dragon, removing the threat to his beloved and destroying the obstacle that kept her from him. He is now free to marry her and live happily ever after.
A hopeless courtship, through a desperate battle, to finally claiming his true love against all odds. That is the pattern of melodrama.