Anton Chekhov (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists) by Rose Whyman

By Rose Whyman

Anton Chekhov bargains a serious creation to the performs and productions of this canonical playwright, interpreting the genius of Chekhov's writing, theatrical illustration and dramatic philosophy. Emphasising Chekhov’s persisted relevance and his mastery of the tragicomic, Rose Whyman presents an insightful overview of his existence and paintings. All of Chekhov’s significant dramas are analysed, as well as his vaudevilles, one-act performs and tales. The works are studied when it comes to conventional feedback and more moderen theoretical and cultural standpoints, together with cultural materialism, philosophy and gender reviews. research of key old and up to date productions, reveal the improvement of the drama, in addition to the playwright’s persisted charm. Anton Chekhov offers readers with an available comparative learn of the connection among Chekhov's existence, paintings and ideological proposal.

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Extra info for Anton Chekhov (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists)

Example text

In his time at Moscow University he had observed but did not participate in the radical student movements, and had written a rather sardonic letter to Suvorin about the student disturbances in 1890, which were about admission of women and Jews to university 24 Life and context (Chekhov 1973: 160). By 1899, he had changed his point of view, complaining to Suvorin about the coverage of the events in New Time. Suvorin had written in favour of the government’s suppression of the disturbances and Chekhov pointed out the injustice of a system of arbitrary rule where those who had been beaten, whose rights had been violated, had no recourse to the law.

If one absorbs oneself in it, a given moment of life becomes in itself a door to eternity. (Green 1986: 132–33) Chekhov expands the context of his plays from that of the concerns of his characters, to one that has continued relevance by constant references to the dimension of time. The characters may be absorbed in everyday life but are made aware that ‘time’s running out for us’ as Polina says in The Seagull (Chekhov 2005: 169), and there 40 Life and context is an urgent need to find something of value in life rather than to drift along.

There are no final answers; rather, life is a process of adapting to circumstances, finding a way to live a life of some meaning or resisting this. The characters who engage in the struggle to work out what life is all about gain a degree of inner freedom; some have some success in ‘wringing the slave out of themselves’, those who do not remain ‘encased’ in trivial lives. The process of searching is of value in itself because for Chekhov, there are no absolute values that could prescribe the right way to live life.

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