Download e-book for iPad: Chekhov in Performance by J. L. Styan

By J. L. Styan

ISBN-10: 0511554230

ISBN-13: 9780511554230

ISBN-10: 0521079756

ISBN-13: 9780521079754

ISBN-10: 0521293456

ISBN-13: 9780521293457

For an entire realizing of any textual content, cautious attention has to be given to its lifestyles in functionality. during this worthwhile examine of 4 of Chekhov's significant performs - Uncle Vanya, The Seagull, The Cherry Orchard and 3 Sisters - J. L. Styan demonstrates the improvement of Chekhov's talents as a dramatist and discusses degree motion, portrayal of personality, differing twentieth-century productions and the viewers reactions they evoked.

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Additional resources for Chekhov in Performance

Example text

1 In discussing his mother's work in the theatre, Treplev reveals his own theatrical position, and it is curiously like Chekhov's. The modern theatre has become sterile: When the curtain goes up, and by artificial light, in a room with three walls, these great geniuses, the devotees of holy art, represent how people eat, drink, love, move about, and wear their jackets; when from these commonplace sentences and pictures they try to draw a moral - a petty moral, easy of comprehension and convenient for domestic use; when in a thousand variations I am offered the same thing over and over again - I run away as Maupassant ran away from the Eiffel Tower which weighed upon his brain with its vulgarity.

By Act iv we find Nina linking it strictly with her own sense of loss: she uses it as a signature on her letters to Treplev and repeatedly talks of herself as a seagull in her last moments on the stage. For her, it symbolizes her childhood attachment to her home and the lake, to which she naturally returns. But it also reflects the hold which Treplev and Trigorin both selfishly try to exert on her. Yet though the symbolism of the seagull is asked to generalize youthful lost illusions and to reflect such varying lights, it cannot stand for the general condition of the lives of all these unhappy people.

2 The girl is twenty-two, as Arkadina tells us in Act n, but she is incongruously wearing sombre, matronly colours. Her opening line, which has puzzled and amused many playgoers by the obliquity of its meaning, must immediately strike an audience as comic, in whatever tone it is spoken. MEDVEDENKO. Why do you always wear black? MASHA. I am in mourning for my life. I am unhappy. 3 Whatever an audience might have expected after viewing the fantasy of the setting, it was not this. It is as if Masha were trying to conclude a conversation abruptly, not start one.

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Chekhov in Performance by J. L. Styan


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