Monday, January 14, 2008

Eminem's "Stan"--Melodrama?

Watch the video and read the lyrics for "Stan" by Eminem (with Dido). Would you consider "Stan" to be an example of melodrama, or to have melodramatic characteristics? Why or why not? What is the song's argument--what point or points do you think this video makes? How does the video make these points? What rhetorical strategies does the video employ? Think carefully about visual and aural as well as textual rhetoric, and write a comment that addresses one or some of these questions.


JDenby said...

In all, the entire song/lyrics/video is just full of melodrama. All of his actions are caused by Eminem's failure to respond to a letter--they're extreme overreactions. And the persistent rain in the video contributes to the melodrama, emphasizing the sense of depression.

It is actually of melodrama that I'm unsure as to what his real intentions were. By depicting a fan (Stan) who forms his whole life into a replica of Eminem songs, it's almost as if Eminem is mocking fans who take his lyrics seriously. take these lines, for example:

"But what's this s**t you said about you like to cut your wrists too?
I say that s**t just clowning dog,
c'mon - how f***ed up is you?"

Though that thought is up for argument for anyone who wants to take a stab at it.

--Jon Denby

Chibuzo said...

First I would just like to say I love this song! "Stan" just screams melodrama. This guy is obviously obsessed with Eminem and has let this superstar practically rule his life, but of course Eminem is not to blame for it. I agree with Jon when he says Eminem is mocking fans who take his lines seriously, for this has been a problem in the past with other muscial artists.
I think Eminem is trying to make the point that artists write music as a form of self expression for themselves and it is not to be taken literal. And if your favorite artist doesn't reply to your letters, it may be a little over the top to tie up your significant other and put them in the trunk of your car and drive off a bridge...just a thought.

Diogenes Brito said...

Since I don't really agree with melodrama as a well defined category, I wouldn't go ahead and classify the video as a melodrama. From what we have discussed, however, I would say that it has melodramatic qualities. I would not also would not say that the video is trying to make an argument as much as it is trying to successfully tell a story using melodrama.

anthony said...

I too really liked this song--perhaps I just have a soft spot for melodramatic things. Eminem seems to have a trend to always speak of things that ironically applies to himself (whether intentional or not); for example, "The REal Slim Shady" spoke of the massive mainstreaming of pop music that he himself somewhat became a victim of. Here, it is ironic that it is his own self hating himself, representative of those people who try to hard to be just like him, or take idolizing him too far.

I know the use of it is really cliche, but the room/person dichotomy from the barriers inside the house to the car is something that I found really effective and cool.