42 pages 1 hour read

Anton Chekhov

The Seagull

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1895

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Authorial Context: Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov is hailed as one of theater’s most influential playwrights of all time and is a staple figure in theatrical studies across the globe. Four of his plays have become classics: Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters, and The Seagull, all of which have been translated and performed around the world. Alongside his contemporaries Henrik Ibsen (known for writing plays such as A Doll’s House) and August Strindberg (Miss Julie), Chekhov was instrumental in starting, and shaping, the modernist period in theater in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His plays utilize the theater of moods, which focuses less on the dramatic conventions of plot and conflict and more on the psychological exploration of the characters, and the effect it has on the audience.

Chekhov was born in 1860 in the south of Russia and was the third-born of his parents’ six surviving children. He was a physician by profession, but his true passion was writing. The Seagull, his first play, was initially a flop in 1896 and almost caused Chekhov to abandon his ambitions as a playwright. However, two years later, it was remounted at Stanislavski’s Moscow Art Theatre and met with resounding success.