Chapter

Chekhov and the Tragic

K. M. Newton

in Modern Literature and the Tragic

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780748636730
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652082 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636730.003.0004
Chekhov and the Tragic

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This chapter discusses the work of Chekhov. He 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. Chekhov's symbolism is seldom subject to easy decoding, but the colour grey in one of his story is not one that would normally be associated with the tragic.

Keywords: tragic; Chekhov; Hamlet; The Seagull; Andromaque; The Cherry Orchard; Ivanov; grey

Chapter.  5634 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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