[Chekhov] is very aware of the tragic in his writing. Though Hamlet would seem to be the most important tragedy for Chekhov — it is clearly a significant presence in The Seagull — one can also see a relationship between The Seagull and Racine’s Andromaque, though instead of reinforcing the connection with the tragic, it rather reveals how Chekhov distances his drama from it, both formally and philosophically. Chekhov’s resistance to the tragic as a concept is suggested by his description of plays such as The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard as comedies; even Ivanov was originally called a comedy.

On this day in 1904,  Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard received its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre. Read the chapter on ‘Chekhov and the Tragic’ from Edinburgh Scholarship Online, available through University Press Scholarship Online.
Image credit: The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov Act Three, 1922. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

[Chekhov] is very aware of the tragic in his writing. Though Hamlet would seem to be the most important tragedy for Chekhov — it is clearly a significant presence in The Seagull — one can also see a relationship between The Seagull and Racine’s Andromaque, though instead of reinforcing the connection with the tragic, it rather reveals how Chekhov distances his drama from it, both formally and philosophically. Chekhov’s resistance to the tragic as a concept is suggested by his description of plays such as The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard as comedies; even Ivanov was originally called a comedy.

On this day in 1904,  Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard received its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre. Read the chapter on ‘Chekhov and the Tragic’ from Edinburgh Scholarship Online, available through University Press Scholarship Online.

Image credit: The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov Act Three, 1922. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.