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A Marriage Proposal, Anton Chekhov

In the short play "A Marriage Proposal," Anton Chekhov describes the odd courtship of Lomov, who seeks a marriage with his neighbor's daughter. The man and the woman he wants to marry fight before he can make his proposal, fight while he proposes, and fight after she agrees to marry him. They tend toward a fight every time they speak to one another, and while this alarms her father at first, he decides that the two just like to fight with each other. In the end, the father calls this last fight the "launching of marital bliss," though it is doubtful that a couple can fight all the time and achieve anything like bliss.

The idea expressed in this play is echoed in part in other examples from world literature. The idea expressed by Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream that "the course of true love never did run smooth" (I.i.134) represents this theme. The statement itself embodies several ideas. First, it assumes that there is such a thing as true love and that it is a conception based on the idea that two people are literally meant for each other. Second, it states that these two people, though meant for each other, may have to endure a good deal before they can actually achieve the love they feel. This differs from what Chekhov shows in "A Marriage Proposal," however, in that Shakespeare shows two people who may fight yet learn they love each other, while Chekhov presents two people who love each other by fighting--at least, that is what Choobookov believes.

The Taming of the Shrew brings the idea of endurance and suffering in love to the fore in a story in which the characters battle their way to a loving relationship. There are two couples in this play, two male suitors pursuing the sisters Bianca and Kate. The matter is complicated in that the development of a relationship between the males and the females depends on more than simple attraction. Lucentio loves Bianca, and even if he can woo her, he will have to ...

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A Marriage Proposal, Anton Chekhov. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:05, August 12, 2020, from