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Anton Chekov

On January 29, 1860, in Taganrog, Russia, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, was born, (Anton, p. 1). Though Chekhov wrote many one-act comedies and a significant number of short stories, it is for his full-length tragedies that Chekhov is considered ôamong the greatest dramatists of all time,ö (Anton, p. 1). While studying as a medical student at the University of Moscow, Chekhov began writing short stories. Influenced by vaudeville and French farces, Chekhov began writing one-act comedies. Eventually, he wrote the plays that stand among the finest dramas in theatre, Uncle Vanya, The Seagull, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard. Chekhov hated that his plays were stylized for the stage by Constantin Stanislavsky. Chekhov maintained that his dramas were comedies, but Stanislavsky always focused on the tragic elements of his work. This critique will look at a number of ChekhovÆs works in order to demonstrate the dramatistÆs philosophy of life and his unique style of drama.

Perhaps the best definition of ChekhovÆs dramatic style is best offered by the writer himself. He once wrote, ôAll I wanted was to say honestly to people: æHave a look at yourselves and see how bad and dreary your lives are!Æ The important thing is that people should realize that, for when they do, they will most certainly create another and better life for themselves,ö (Anton, p. 1). The works of Chekhov demonstrate this time and again. ChekhovÆs characters often seem unable to control their destiny, experiencing the emotional ups and downs of life without the ability to forge a better life for themselves. As one critic says of Chekhov characters, ôChekhovÆs characters do not serve the plot at all. At best, they accommodate themselves to it, like unwilling passengers on a train which is taking them where they have no desire to go,ö (Valency, p. 289).

In a number of ChekhovÆs short stories, we see these kinds of characters who find it diff...

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Anton Chekov. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:06, June 19, 2019, from