The Seagull analysis
Chekhov’s “The Seagull” has been a long-lasting drama and enduring work of art. This drama is a great accomplishment for Chekhov and it is a world famous four-acts play. For example, Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company and the Broadway play “The Seagull” many times. Chekhov was born in 1860 and died in 1904; his play made a huge impact on the reform of Russian literature and playwriting then later it followed by the breakup of the Soviet Union on Russia in 1917. In “The Seagull” the story is the young writer Treplev and people that are related to him: his family.
Based on Treplev’s goal of the playwright at that time, “The Seagull” happened in the year between 1880-1890 the year that in an ossification. This can be inferred in act one of the play where, Arkadina who is a well-known drama actress, the mother of Treplev the main protagonist said, “I’ll even put up with delirium, but all this pretentiousness about new forms, about a new era for the theatre…As far as I’m concerned, what we got tonight was bad form.” Furthermore, Chekhov, the author, was fighting against the restricted play form and “advocating personal freedom or writers for literature.” Thus, act from one to four of the play “The Seagull” is illustrate a group of people living in 1880 to 1890.
From reading the whole play and knowing the background information of Chekhov and his time of living, it seems Treplev is pretty similar to Chekhov himself. He (Treplev) also wanted to bring a new form to the Russian theater. Thus, the time of year of this play shows the year mostly at 1885. Also, the story is set in the late summer season. The play seems to portray that Act I, II and III all happened at the same late summer season. This can be inferred once again, from Arkadina saying, “Every summer it’s the same thing, every summer I am insulted. I’ll never set foot in this place again.” Also, this supported by Polina a wife of Shamraev, the business manager blames Dorn who is a charming doctor for talking so long with Arkadina and “didn’t even notice how cold it was” page 45, Line 10, act I, scene 1. Then, more precisely in act one, the play starts between 7:30 to 8 clock before the moon is rising up. The characters are set up the stage for a play written by Treplev and played by Nina who is Treplev’s loving girlfriend.
After the first act, few days have passed and the time changes to the “noontime” in the introduction of act II in page 54 it wrote. Arkadina is reading books and Treplev nears the lake, so it should be during the daytime based off these activities these main characters are doing. Then, few weeks have passed between act two and three. According to the introduction of the act three “Trigorin is having lunch” on page 64. The act three is set at lunchtime and act four is still set in the Sorin’s estate and Sorin is the older brother of Arkadina even there is a two years’ interval between act III and Act IV. In an evening during the autumn in the year 1885 is the setting time of act four. This is because the protagonist, Treplev’s family members are sitting together playing lotto page in his uncle’s estate during “the long autumn evenings” on page 82, act IV
The act one to four of the play “The Seagull” all happened in the great Russia. First of all, this is because the author Chekhov who was born in a small town near the sea Azuv, southern Russia. Second, the characters’ name in “The Seagull” also based on Russian such as Payotr Nikolaevich. More specifically, act I started at a countryside in Sorin’s estate on page 39. Sorin said that he does not like the life right now which is living in a countryside. Sorin is “better off living in town” said by Treplev on page 40,
Act I. In “a part of the park on Sorin’s estate”, there first two characters Medvedenko and Masha enters on page 36, act I. From all the signs in the play, act one to four all happens in Sorin’s estate where is in a countryside of Great Russia, but different act happens in a different room or area in Sorin’s estate. More specifically, the main characters are all in “a lawn for playing croquet” at the beginning of act two. Then, a few weeks later, they were in “the dining room in Sorin’s house.” Even though there were lots of love happened during those years from act I and IV, every character backs to Sorin’s house again to meet each other. However, to be more precise, the exactly rooms have been changed, for example, “One of the drawing rooms in Sorin’s house, which Treplev has converted into a study” in page 75 is the setting place for act IV.
Politics determines the way of life in which one is going to leave and in which in the long run legitimate institution will be set so as to manage the affairs of each and every person effectively. This, therefore, means that politics normally defines the life of a particular group and how they can be able to interact with one another. It is made up of the elite members of the society.
Politics has always been considered as a tool of governance and in many instances, it has been used as a tool for revolution. Although it is not portrayed out cleat in the play. Politics has been able to play a major role and it was going to be a tool that was going to bring revolution in a theater. Treplev believes that theater is not an important thing that one cannot live without, but he believes that there must be a new literature or form to reform literature circles. A free literature could bring the artists to a higher level. He tells Sorin that if a new theatre cannot be achieved then it will be better to stay without any theatre at all (page 17). This shows that Treplev was among the people that were willing to bring revolution in the theatre and he looks at his watch, this is used to show that the time for the revolution in the theater industry had come and it was going to take a course.
The revolution that Treplev was talking about takes the course when he writes a play that had not been seen in the past. The play seemed to have moved from the normal tradition of how plays were being written. This, therefore, explains how his idea of bringing revolution in the theatre industry would be on its way (page 31). He holds a conversation with Dorn who encourages him to continue writing what was important.
In summary, politics plays an important role in the play, this is because not everyone agreed with the ideology and the method that was going to be applied by Treplev. Although due to the interest that he had in the theatre, Treplev was going to see the revolution that he wanted in theatre comes to pass.
The class is the division of the society according to the means and forms of livelihoods that they have. In other words, the class makes a distinction on who are the rich member of the society and those that are poor in the society. The rich are top of the class where they are believed to have a comfortable life compared to those that are considered to be poor or less privileged like the rich.
In Act 1 of the play, the first scene is the introduction where Medvedenko has a conversation with Masha whom he finds putting on a black cloth. Masha tells him that she was mourning her life since she was unhappy. Medvedenko in his reply he thinks that she should not be unhappy because his father isn’t rich but he is comfortable. He further acknowledges that his monthly salary is less and monthly pension are still deducted and he is not mourning. From this a class had been created, it means that the understanding of Medvedenko was that for one to be sad or rather mourn he ought to have come from either the class of the rich or the poor. Masha reaffirms this when she tells him that the poor man can also be happy. This implies that the society had devised a method of grouping or rather classifying people in the society with regards to their earnings (page 13).
The class is further distinguished in the play when Medvedenko professes his love to Masha, he uses plea to pity so as to be able to woe Masha, he does this successfully by using class a method of them have no ability to stay together. He proclaims his love and he further goes to say “I have no money, I come from a big family. Who would want to marry a man who can’t even feed himself.”
In summary, the class was used in the play so as to create a theme that would see people not interacting effectively as a result of the class. People like Medvedenko thinks that people of a particular class enjoy life more than him, whereas Masha thinks that poor people are able to enjoy life more than the rich.
Gender refers to the state of being male or female. There are features that are used so as to prove that one is male and female this will help in spreading the certain characteristics that either gender possesses. Gender is, therefore, a differentiation which is used to distinguish between male and female. The society focus in gender issue in certain circumstances and in the old era, people who were from the male gender were considered to be superior whereas their female counterparts were considered to be weak. In the play, there have been situations where gender has played a role.
Women in the play have been portrayed as being weak creatures in the society where they tend to be so emotional. This is evidently seen in the conversation between Treplev and Sorin. Treplev tells Sorin of how his mother is a psychological freak and how she would cry over a week just because of a novel (Page 16). This shows that the position that men had taken on women, this was a conversation between men and according to one another. Women have therefore seen a weak creature who could not be able to manage their emotions, gender was effectively used so as to achieve or rather be able to communicate to the readers on how gender plays a role in emotion management. Since this was being said by a man it showed that men considered themselves strong enough to manage their emotions. On the flip side, gender has been used to show who is affectionate. When Treplev describes his mother to Sorin he acknowledges the fact that women can be able to attend to someone when they are sick, when he tells Sorin “…if you’re sick she will be the best nurse in the world.” This was used so as to portray the affectionate side of women and how they are important and care to their loved one.
In summary, gender has been used as a tool in which certainly characterizes of both genders are portrayed, women are portrayed as being those caring to anyone that was close to them. Men, on the other hand, are being portrayed as people who are able to take care of their emotions.
races wanted a way out. They did not consider themselves coming from the same race and thus they wanted to be independent of each other.
This is the capacity of one being able to have sexual feelings, in the play, this has been shown clearly in many instances. The play has been able to show how the cast started to develop their sexual feelings to one another. The capacity for sexual feeling was only between man and woman. This shows that the play did not envisage a situation where a man would feel to have the capacity to have sexual feelings for a fellow man.
We are introduced to the text with the first scene showing the sexuality of Medvedenko and Masha. Medvedenko confesses his love for Masha and he is ready to marry her. This shows that the play was able to show the sexuality in the society and what factors that lead for one to be able to be able to have sexual feelings.
The scene between Nina and Treplev on page 20 shows that sexuality played a huge role in the play. This is because it was used as a tool from which one could be able to get intimate with another person. It is from sexuality that the society is born, this is to mean when a man is attracted to a woman, they will be able to settle down and have a family. This, however, is not definite as one may be a victim of sexuality. In the texts, Nina appeared to be attracted to Trigorin but she becomes a victim since Trigorin was married to Arkadina and she was cheating on them both.
Defined the Climax: everyone was going to supper he left alone to work and found out the meaning of what is his goal of writing which is writing freely no restriction. “it’s not about forms—old forms, new forms—it’s about writing, not bound by any forms at all, just writing, freely, from the soul” (act IV, page 85).
The climax happens in the act four which is after two years that Nina left them and went to Moscow to first pursue her dream and true love and her back to see Treplev again. Treplev please her to stay or he will go with her. However, Nina said, “No, no…don’t bother, I’ll find my way out…My horses are near…So, she brought him with her. Well, what does it matter. When you see Trigorin, tell him nothing…I love him, I love him even more than ever.” Then, Treplev tears up all his manuscripts and throws them under the table after Nina gone. At this time, the climax appears because it causes the greatest shift of the play. The whole play focuses on writing and to be a good artist. However, Treplev from wants to bring a new free writing shift to lose all his hope. It represents the sad situation of society that Chekhov live in when the time is really hard for unconstrained literature in Russia.
According to the climax, Treplev is the protagonist. He is a representative of new and free writing and artist. Nina is his true love and also his writing motivation. Nina at the beginning just admires the glorying and good-looking of all the famous actress or writers. She is childish but her purity is Treplev’s writing sources and the loving enthusiasm is his nourishment. When there is no enthusiasm and nourishment; he finally ends all his wishes and dreams to change the writing literature current. he is the new force to against the depressing society, so he is the protagonist, not others. All the conflict and intention is on him and all the altitude from others. How he sees the world and the people around him. His relatives and servers change their attitudes to view his works. However, the cruel reality pulls him back and he becomes a normal writer do not know what he means new forms then he found out his writing faith which contains a life and meaning theme to express his true feeling. It is the climax of the whole play and the play, but the protagonist, Treplev ends at kills himself because of losing all his hopes.
The first antagonist is Treplev his mother which is Arkadina; she is what Treplev wants to prove himself for and wants to gain her love from his mother but he never did. Not only because of her popularity makes him a nobody, but also she looks down to Treplev’s first playwriting which happens at the beginning of the story and makes Treplev’s career and dreams breaks at the first time when nobody takes seriously for his play except Dorn. He said to uncle Sorin to explains his miserable， “I love my mother, I love her very much, but she leads a chaotic life, forever carrying on with that novelist, her name all over the papers and I’ve had it with her. Although sometimes I think it’s my own mortal ego’ I feel sorry for myself that I have a famous actress for a mother, and if only she were an ordinary woman, oh, how happy I would be” in act I page 42. He is dreaming about that one day he could let his mother be proud by his writing. When he can stand on his own rather than the son of a famous actress. Arkadina’s point of view of being an artist and a good play is far more different than Treplev’s. His new form of writing does not fit the role that Arkadina good at. Therefore, Arkadina never takes his son’s hard work serious; she took his first play “for fun” on page 48 act I. This is not a mother would do to a child, but Arkadina is so cruel to Treplev and only cares about herself and would like to buy more beautiful clothes rather than helping his son out of his miserable life. Her attitude and relationship is a huge antagonist to stands the way to let out protagonist Treplev move forward to pursue his goal.
The second antagonist is Treplev’s ex-girlfriend, Nina. First of all, Nina is a catalyst for Treplev’s success, but she turns to a big bump to explode Treplev’s inner world. Nina and Treplev from the beginning start at the same starting line because they both start to work on their dream without support from their family members. However, Treplev was losing himself after Nina left him. Nina cheated on him and fall in love with Trigorin who is a well-known short story writer. There is a two-year gap between act III and act IV and things had changed. Treplev’s writings were known to the public and gain a positive replication, but the idea that wants to end his own life does not disappear when he knows that Nina does not love him anymore. From that point, all his world does not about bring the free form of writing and his own writing success but the demand to get Nina’s love back. Treplev is not a strong man and he is easily being destroyed by his love and he seems that he cannot live without love. This is a hint between the conversation of Dorn and Treplev at the act one page 52. Dorn has a high EQ and he truly values the artistic works, so he shows his interests for Treplev’s first play and gives him suggestion to let him aware the weakness if he goes “down the aesthetic road with no destination, [he’ll] lose [his] way, and [his] talent will be [his] downfall” Sadly, Treplev does not take his suggestion for a minutes when he could not find “where is Nina”. This situation happens again at the act four at the end of the play which directly results the protagonist kills himself. After Nina was gone, he could not find his goal of writing and his life seems like meaningless. He knows that Nina is all his power to write. Thus, he begging Nina to stay and said, “I’m alone, with no love to warm me, I’m cold, it’s like living in a grave, and no matter what I write, no matter what, it’s flat, stale, lifeless. Stay here, Nina, I beg of you, or else let me go away with you” at act IV page 87. This speech shows how he felt and all his life is connecting with Nina. Thus, Nina is the antagonist that her existence leads to Treplev loses his life goal and suicide himself.
The final antagonist is Treplev himself. Treplev is a less determined man who might have given up at the end. From all the time that he thinks that his artistic attainments are higher than all of them which include Arkadina and Trigorin. He is a talented writer, but one cannot succeed if he or she only has talent but does not have a goal and work on it. He wanted to open the new form of acting at the beginning of the story. However, Treplev founds out that he is not a passionate writer like he was at the beginning of the story. At act IV page 85, he revises what he has already written and said to himself “Forms. For so long I’ve been going on and on about the need for new forms. And now, little by little, I’m falling into the same old rut myself.” He finds out that his writings are just like other writers’ with no feeling and soul in it. At that time, he still fighting with himself to pursue what means new form and he finds out that it is not about old or new forms. It is about writing freely from the soul. Therefore, he wants to find his soul. At the end of the story, he knows where is his soul and it is Nina’s love. “For the next two minutes, in silence, he tears up all his manuscripts and throws them under the writing table; then he unlocks the right door and exits” at act IV page 89. During the short two minutes, there must be lots of conflict inside his own head. Nina just told him that she found her faith of acting and refused to be with him firmly. I believe that during the two minutes, Treplev released that his writing faith comes from Nina. Therefore, Treplev is not just died for love but also for
his lifeless writing faith. Nina’s gone also ends his way to success. There are lots of personal conflict inside his mind. However, the part of him needing love defeats the other part of him wanting to bring free thoughts into the artistic world.
-Chart the protagonist’s arc (do it in list actions, bullet points) from the beginning of the play through the moment of Climax to the end of the play
· • Treplev helps the workers to set the stage
· • Explains the play set to Sorin
· • Talks about his mother why she does not in a good mood
· • Complains his feeling about his mother because he loves her but his mother, Arkadina cares to own herself not him at all
· • Sees Nina and got really excited and happy
· • Talking his play and setting to Nina
· • Makes people quiet because his first play will begin
· • Makes her mother quiet
· • He is mad and stop the play because everyone seems does not take it seriously
· • goes away from the public
· • Then, Treplev comes back
· • He is being courage by Dorn who is the only one understands and loves his first play
· • Ask Dorn where to find Nina immediately
· • Leaving to find Nina
· • Kills a seagull and gives to Nina
· • Wants Nina to warm him and give him forgiveness or understanding his play
· • Ironically comparing him with Trigorin and thinks Nina loves and admires Trigorin when Treplev sees Trigorin
· • Then, he runs away
· • Makes Trigorin into a duel but hurts himself
· • Hears his uncle will pass out
· • Talks to his mother and lets her mother help him to exchange the bandage
· • Tells Arkadina to not in love with Trigorin because Trigorin is timid but he made the one he loves to leave him
· • throws the bandage when they are arguing the talent between them
· • Runaway quickly when he heard Trigorin’s voice
· • Sets and writes in Sorin’s room where changes to a study
· • Stops Polina’s suggestion that he knows Masha loves him but he cannot change it
· • Goes away from the study room
· • Then, he is playing piano
· • Backs to the study room
· • Talks about how is Nina to Dorn
· • Accepts and shows forgiveness about the old resentment between Nina, Trigorin, and himself.
• Reads the journal that Trigorin gives
• He plays piano again
• Wants to work and refuse to have supper
• Compares his writing works with Trigorin’s
• Discovers his writing goal which is writing with meaning and no restrictions
• Hears someone is coming and the person is Nina
• Asks Nina to stay
• Treplev get corrupted when Nina says that she loves Trigorin even more
• Hopes no one sees Nina is here
• Try to write but then tearing up his papers and goes out off the room
• Shoots himself.
Treplev is a young man who pursues artistic innovation and “need(s) new forms” (act I, page 42). He is deeply in love with Nina. His love towards Nina is his direct source for writing inspiration. Since there is only limited literature and play to be seen, Treplev does not like writing the play in a restricted way. He goes out of his way seeking to write with purpose and originality and he believes that his artistic attainments are better than all of the others even better than, Arkadina and Trigorin. However, he meets his greatest pressure when Nina told him that she still loves, Trigorin and even more. Then, he chooses to tear up all his manuscripts and kill himself after his greatest pressure. Once Nina expresses didn’t love him, he could not write anything anymore as if all of his hope was shattered. Another polar attitude of Treplev is that he loses his faith to write freely with his soul; all he thinks about is getting Nina back and “still floundering in a sea of dreams and images, not knowing what or whom they are for” (act IV, page 88).
She is a character who is so confident about her reputation, money, youth and her lover at the beginning of the play. At the beginning of the play, Arkadina really believes that she is the one that was in the best shape, most respected by others, and the one in highest demand by most men. She looks down on others’ dreams because of her fame. She’d also “rather be sitting in [her] hotel room learning a new part”, rather than spending time with her son and family (act II, page 56). She loves Trigorin and when she realizes that a pure girl stole Trigorin’s heart, she thinks that her self-esteem and attraction are vanishing, because she thinks that she is a famous actress that should be treat as different or above the other characters. However, a girl like, Nina who Arkadina never taking her seriously stolen Trigorin’s heart and made him decide to leave her. This time is her greatest pressure. She then did all she could to praise him to let him stay with her so that she describes him as her only man that makes her to alive. Then, her attitude changes and she starts to become anxious that her love would be stolen by someone else.
She is naïve and pure to love. Her first polar attitude is desiring and admiring a life of fame and glory. She believes that all the famous people have “a fascinating, brilliant life, a meaningful life” (act II, page 60). Nina left her family and took her first step to her acting dream at the end of act three. However, “Trigorin fell out of love with her and returned to his former liaison, as was expected” after Nina had a baby. At that time, Nina felt her greatest pressure when all her dreams started to fail: the death of the baby, unsuccessful acting career, and even Trigorin had left her alone after being disowned by her family. Then, the greatest pressure causes Nina to act horribly at the stage. At the end of the play, her polar attitude changes; she becomes a strong woman finally knows what acting is without all the reputation and glory. Acting is her dream, not all the praise of famous and reputation she would running around and without the support of her family. Acting for her “is not the glory, not the glitter” and she has “the strength to endure. The strength to bear your cross, to have faith. [She has] faith, and it’s not so painful for [her] anymore]” (act IV, page 88). Nina finally knows what is her dream and working off it and to bear all her suffering to make her dream come true.
His beginning attitude is exhausted to searching the materials of his short story and only knows and cares to write something down. Then, he met Nina a pure girl who admired him the most. The time of great pressure is when Arkadina does not let him be together with Nina, he gives up under Arkadina’s complements. However, he ends
to abandon Nina after “they had a child [and] the child died” (act IV, page79). Trigorin thinks that she is just a normal woman. At the end, the demand of being with Nina disappeared. He is not in love with Nina, but a wish to start a new and fresh life without all the heavy and boring writing life.
At the beginning, Masha is “mourning for [her] life” in act one page 39, because her father does not support her, her family and her love is a disaster. She falls in love with Treplev a man that she can not love for is her polar attitude at the first. Then, when she is seeking to the deep sea and “no one knows [her] suffering, it is the time that she was in her greatest pressure (act I, page 53). She finds the one that she feels the closest which is Dorn and tells her true feeling about Treplev. After all, she believes that marry with Medvedenko is the best way to solve her problem and help her forget her love. However, things do not act like in her imagination; she can not take her eyes off Treplev and is tired to see her husband around.
He is very understanding art, fairly optimistic, love, of pleasure. He is a very sympathetic character in the play who very understands a woman’s heart. Dorn is nice to everyone and respects each’s dream and he has a really good relationship with women. When he first found out Treplev shoot himself is his greatest pressure, he is the only one that appreciated Treplev’s play. He keeps his personality to hold the situation and lie to everyone that it is “nothing, something exploded in [his] medicine bag” (act IV, page89). However, his attitude changes through when the play gets tighter and tighter. He turns to more real that he hates that someone questions his suggestions as a doctor. Also, he does not like Sorin who always want to eat medicine and afraid of death. Sorin like to complain and Dorn used to listen to those compliments, however, he tired to argue with nice to others. For example, Dorn gets annoyed when Sorin asks medicine many times, so he said “take some valerian drops” in act II, page 56.
Medvedenko appears an outgoing and positive attitude at the beginning as he said to Masha even he was poor, but he does not “walking around in mourning” because he has Masha in act one (act I, page 39). When asks Masha to go home with him is his great pressure because at this moment he realized that Masha is not in love with him. He was just a poor man and the loved ones that do not love him. He uses their children as an excuse to make Masha backs to home in act four. However, Masha still does not change her mind. Medvedenko had not done anything wrong just because of his poverty result in him as a weak character, lower his status by himself, and looks down to himself. His another polar attitude is that then Medvedenko hates Treplev because his wife’s love belongs to Treplev. Thus, Medvedenko wants to destroy the old stage and describes the stage as “bare and ugly, like a skeleton” to Masha on act IV page 75.
Shamraev does not see himself as a business manager who is a servant of them. He can do and say what he wants and never praise Arkadina like everybody else. He really loves
all the horse and cattle. Therefore, letting him give Arkadina horses becomes his greatest pressure, but he would like to resign the job rather than following her order to give the horse to Arkadina in act two page 57. He becomes more suit for his career and understands his position and follows the order that his manager and people from higher class made him do. For example, he keeps the dead seagull which was shot by Treplev for Trigorin “as requested” in act IV page 89.
Polina keeps a close eye to Doctor Dorn and always want to escape from his cruel husband so that she hates every woman that related with Dorn is her first polar attitude. After Dorn refuse her request to run away together makes her down to the deepest pressure, she “tears [the Follower] and throws them on the ground” that Nina gives him into pieces in act II, page 58. Then, her attitude changes when she put much effort on her daughter who have the similar situation like her, for instance, she told Treplev that she wishes him to “be a little kinder to [her] Mashenka! (act IV, page 76). However, she does not put all her attention on Dorn, her secret lover at the second half of play.
Sorin from the beginning really thinks the town life makes him sleepy and wants new life in the country. He tried to help his nephew to go out of his miserable and request that her sister could help him. However, she refused to give him a huge difficult to stuck in the middle of a family relationship. At his met his greatest pressure arguing with Arkadina, he even will pass out. Therefore, he stops his plan and starts to praise Arkadina that “[he] believes [Arkadina], [she is] a noble and generous woman for not exploding her lie and selfishness (act III, page 67). At the end, he builds up a huge anger for what he had done and doing nothing to pursue his dream. Most importantly, he really wants to live much longer.
In the 1880s, the theater is a state of ossification which later is the time that Chekhov wrote: “The Seagull” in 1895. Chekhov is a pioneer to bring the modernization into the great Russia. Therefore, the theme of the play “The Seagull” illustrates how does Chekhov view the meaning of an artist. “The Seagull” answers the question of what it means to be an artist. The true meaning of being an actor or playwright is not their admirable glory or fame but acting or writing “freely, from the soul” (act IV, page 85).
Treplev wants to bring an innovation which is a “new forms” of the 80s Russia literature at first. Through the big changes of his love life and writing in several years, he found his faith to write with a free soul and abandon all those restrictions of playwriting. However, he loses all his writing hopes after Nina’s leaving because Nina is his writing inspiration. Without her, both his life and bream turns to “lifeless” and nothing.