The Seagull Tickets
|The Seagull Tickets|
Details of The Seagull and the Ticket Luck value
The first of four major plays, Anton Chekhov's The Seagull (Russian: ????? (Chayka)), was written in 1896. It revolves around , the fading leading lady Irina Arkadina, her son Konstantin Treplyov, who is also an experimental playwright, Trigorin, the famous middlebrow story writer, and the naive Nina. There exists romance and artistic conflict between these four theatrical characters.
The fully developed characters re a trade mark of Chekhov's full-length plays. The concept of subtext is used in the play whereby characters tend to speak in ways that skirt around issues rather than addressing them directly. Melodrama, a characteristic of almost all nineteenth century plays was also kept to the minimal.
Using the play-within-a-play device in the first Act of the play, and the quoting of lines by Arkadina and Treplyov suggest a strong intertextual relationship with Shakespeare's Hamlet. Treplyov seeking to win his mother back from the usurping older man Trigorin much as Hamlet tried to win Queen Gertrude back from his uncle Claudius show that strong allusions also exist to the Shakespearean plot.
The opening night of the first production was a famous failure. Vera Komissarzhevskaya, playing Nina, was so intimidated by the hostility of the audience that she lost her voice. Chekhov left the audience and spent the last two acts behind the scenes. When supporters wrote to him that the production later became a success, he assumed they were just trying to be kind. However, when Constantin Stanislavski directed it in a later production for the Moscow Art Theatre, the play was a triumph.
The curtain is raised on the backdrop of on a country estate owned by Sorin, a former government employee with failing health. He is the brother of the famous actress Arkadina, who has just arrived at the estate with her lover, Trigorin, for a brief vacation. In Act I, the people staying at Sorin's estate gather to see a play that Arkadina's son Konstantin Treplyov has written and directed.
In Act II, the curtain lifts to reveal the outside of the estate in the afternoon. This is a few days later and it features Arkadina reminiscing about happier times. She then gets involved in a heated argument with the house steward Shamrayef and decides to leave immediately. Nina lingers behind after the group leaves, and Konstantin shows up to give her a seagull that he has shot. Nina is confused and horrified at the gift. Konstantin sees Trigorin approaching, and he leaves in a jealous fit. Trigorin, a famous writer, enters. Nina asks him to tell her about the writer's life.
Taking place inside the estte, Act III shows that Arkadina and Trigorin have decided to depart for Moscow. The attempted suicide of Konstantin, by shooting himself, is not shown and takes place in between acts. Using a line from one of Trigorin's own books: If you ever need my life, come and take it, Nina finds Trigorin eating breakfast and presents him with a medallion that proclaims her devotion to him.
Act IV takes place after a lapse of two years, in Treplyov's study, which was formerly a drawing room. Masha and Medviedenko are married and and have a kid together, though Masha still hatbours unrequited love for Konstantin. Various characters discuss what has happened in the two years that have passed