‘Seeming Would Be Quite Enough’ explores theatrical expressions in Little Dorrit (1855-1857) by Charles Dickens. The many borrowings from entertainment culture, ranging from Punch and Judy to circus, add greatly to the impression of a remarkably many-faceted text. Fictive entertainers of four other novels, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Hard Times and Great Expectations are studied as representatives of various theatre forms of Dickens’s time, but they also display the author’s complex relationship to entertainers and acting. Little Dorrit clearly employs plot-structure similar to that of melodrama and the characteristic hyperbole, the ‘mode of excess’. Through the novel’s partly idealized and partly contorted depiction of human life there runs a strong yearning for authentic and genuine representation of language and communication. By studying groups of characters my thesis explores how authentic representation feeds on the artificial and makes evident how melodramatic theatricality is an essential part of the text’s quest for authentic human expression. The various theatrical loans are studied for what they bring about in constructing representations of genuine human representation. In transferring elements from the playhouse to another medium Dickens depends heavily on what can be visualized. He employs descriptions of body language to indicate inner emotion, making the reader a spectator. On the whole ‘feigning’ is largely a negative force in this narrative and misrepresentation is central in the portrayal of Little Dorrit’s characters. Through surface values such as manner, looks and status these role-players seek to manifest their importance. Juxtaposing the artificial characters with the ‘genuine’ hero and heroine an impression of authenticity is achieved. As the melodramatic theatricality of the heroes springs from the dynamics between controlled restraint and excessive, justified emotion, and not from the urge to cause a certain effect, they claim a kind of authenticity that Dickens’s other characters are not allowed. The overstatement then, performs a different task in different characters of Little Dorrit. While the hyperbole may enlarge and stylize feeling above what would be expected in a more realistic narrative it also contributes to the powerful effects of the language of the novel.