Chekhov's First Major Drama
In addition to being the consensus world's greatest short story writer, Anton Chekhov (1860-1904-Russian-there is some background information on him in my prior posts) had a major influence on the development of the modern theater. He wrote four major plays. Last week I posted on his Uncle Vanya, which I greatly enjoyed. I am going to keep this post very short as a lot of what I said about Uncle Vanya applies well to The Seagull (and also I am getting backed up in my reviews!)
As Chekhov has only four major dramas it makes sense to read them in order of first performance. Also The Seagull seems somewhat autobiographical as one of the characters is a short story writer.
There are four main characters in The Seagull. The play is about their relationships and their conversations about the nature of acting and writing. One of the character is a young woman trying to become an actress. Another is a still attractive but past her glory days actress and her adult son, an artistically self conscious playwright. The most interesting character was a famous short story writer who does not feel his work represents the kind of art he can produce. There are some very interesting long conversations about the nature of acting and writing that almost seem like Chekhov talking to us directly.
I read The Seagull at Dailylit.com. You can easily find it online lots of places.
I hope to read his Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard soon.
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