Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplev - One of the play's four protagonists, Treplev is Arkadina's only son. He struggles to find his voice as a writer in the shadow of his . Konstantin's Identity CrisisSo Konstantin's having a quarter-life crisis. He's having a really bad quarter-life crisis. As Arkadina's son, he associates his self-worth. He has been in a relationship with the actress Irina Arkadina for just under a year. Konstantin's father was a Kiev salesman and she is still hurt by his actions.
Her relationship with Boris is a complicated mixutre of all of these things. Konstantin Konstantin Trepylev wants "to do something, be heard, be someone".
He is 24 and the son of leading lady Irina Arkadina. Not only has he grown up in her shadow, but his relationship with her has become a slave to her professional life; she's an actress, not a mother. As he has grown up in and around the theatre he has artistic bones and a great mind but he doesn't know where or how to channel them. He has come to loath the superficial, glitz and glamour, money and power structures of the theatre. He views mainstream theatre as soulless and predictable.
Ultimately he hates it because it robbed him of his mother. He was kicked out of university and so his talent and intelligence feel lost in the world. Like a devil on his shoulder, he watches and judges himself through his mother's eyes and thus is forever stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Frustrated and lonely, the only light in the black hole he has fallen into is his childhood friend Nina. Nina Zarachneya is the love of Konstantin's life. Masha Masha is 20 years old.
She is an anomaly on the estate. As a child she played games with Konstantin. Her relationship with Semyon has reached a crisis point. She is unhappy and has been for years. She has a fierce and brilliant sense of humour but she is trapped — by the estate, by the weather, by her own fierce intellect — so her humour is a protection against the outside world. She is trying to snap out of how she feels.
Masha spends her time smoking, drinking vodka and thinking about her place in the Russia of the past, present and future. She feels like she was born in the wrong century, always two steps behind. Nina Nina Zarechnaya is 20 years old and lives on the other side of the lake. She has lived by the lake her whole life. Her mother died when Nina was young and she now lives with her father and stepmother who try to keep her locked away as much as possible.
When Nina can escape for an hour or two she sees Konstantin in secret and they work on his play. She loves reading books and plays and dreams of one day being an actress. Over the weekend Nina and Boris end up talking. They find that they can talk honestly to one another and, through these conversations, they form an intimate bond. This bond eventually leads Nina to Moscow, to fulfil her dream of being on stage, but Moscow is a cold and hard city where Nina has to grow up fast and learn about the reality of the world.
Petr Petr has been in the civil service for 28 years. He was once a city man, enjoying its rhythm and life. The estate used to be somewhere he dreamed of; his an annual escape, somewhere to relax by the lake away from the city, smoke and drink. Now it is a place of boredom. He dreams of being back in the city and reminisces about his life to whoever will listen.
His joints are getting worse and he has been suffering with high blood pressure, but he is still asked to perform civil duties in the nearby town. He is supportive of his sister Irina and even more so of the young artist Konstantin. When the Doctor Dorn comes to stay, they spar like two grumpy old men, but there is much love there.
He is not the best manager of Ilya, who seems to be understaffed and under resourced. Who knows what will happen to the Estate in the coming years. Polina Polina Andreyevna Shamrayeva is 42 years.
Her father, Andrei, was a merchant, mostly trading in cotton, who was often absent on business. When she was 19, she married Ilya Afanasyevich Shamrayev, also a local man.
They had gone to school together.
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He had then spent time in the army. The job came with a house, the gatehouse on the estate. About a year into her marriage, Polina suffered what was probably an ectopic pregnancy and was treated by Dr Yevgeny Dorn. They began a long affair, which resulted in the birth of her daughter, Masha.
Trigorin leaves to continue packing. There is a brief argument between Arkadina and Sorin, after which Sorin collapses in grief. He is helped off by Medvedenko. Konstantin enters and asks his mother to change his bandage. As she is doing this, Konstantin disparages Trigorin and there is another argument.
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When Trigorin reenters, Konstantin leaves in tears. Trigorin asks Arkadina if they can stay at the estate. She flatters and cajoles him until he agrees to return with her to Moscow. After she has left the room, Nina comes to say her final goodbye to Trigorin and to inform him that she is running away to become an actress, against her parents' wishes.
They kiss passionately and make plans to meet again in Moscow. Act IV[ edit ] Act IV takes place during the winter two years later, in the drawing room that has been converted to Konstantin's study. Masha has finally accepted Medvedenko's marriage proposal, and they have a child together, though Masha still nurses an unrequited love for Konstantin.
Various characters discuss what has happened in the two years that have passed: Nina and Trigorin lived together in Moscow for a time until he abandoned her and went back to Arkadina. Nina never achieved any real success as an actress, and is currently on a tour of the provinces with a small theatre group. Konstantin has had some short stories published, but is increasingly depressed. Sorin's health is still failing, and the people at the estate have telegraphed for Arkadina to come for his final days.
Most of the play's characters go to the drawing room to play a game of bingo. Konstantin does not join them, and spends this time working on a manuscript at his desk.
After the group leaves to eat dinner, Konstantin hears someone at the back door. He is surprised to find Nina, whom he invites inside. Nina tells Konstantin about her life over the last two years. She starts to compare herself to the seagull that Konstantin killed in Act II, then rejects that and says "I am an actress.
Konstantin pleads with her to stay, but she is in such disarray that his pleading means nothing. She embraces Konstantin, and leaves. Despondent, Konstantin spends two minutes silently tearing up his manuscripts before leaving the study. The group reenters and returns to the bingo game. There is a sudden gunshot from off-stage, and Dorn goes to investigate. He returns and takes Trigorin aside. Dorn tells Trigorin to somehow get Arkadina away, for Konstantin has just shot himself. Petersburg[ edit ] The first night of The Seagull on 17 October at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in Petersburg was a disaster, booed by the audience.
The hostile audience intimidated Vera Komissarzhevskaya so severely that she lost her voice. Some considered her the best actor in Russia and who, according to Chekhov, had moved people to tears as Nina in rehearsal.
The Seagull impressed the playwright and friend of Chekhov Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenkohowever, who said Chekhov should have won the Griboyedov prize that year for The Seagull instead of himself. Moscow Art Theatre production of The Seagull Nemirovich overcame Chekhov's refusal to allow the play to appear in Moscow and convinced Stanislavski to direct the play for their innovative and newly founded Moscow Art Theatre in In the first act something special started, if you can so describe a mood of excitement in the audience that seemed to grow and grow.
Most people walked through the auditorium and corridors with strange faces, looking as if it were their birthday and, indeed, dear God I'm not joking it was perfectly possible to go up to some completely strange woman and say: Stanislavski's attention to psychological realism and ensemble playing coaxed the buried subtleties from the play and revived Chekhov's interest in writing for the stage.
Chekhov's unwillingness to explain or expand on the script forced Stanislavski to dig beneath the surface of the text in ways that were new in theatre. It also featured Chiwetel Ejiofor and Art Malik. The production was directed by Ian Ricksonand received great reviews, including The Metro Newspaper calling it "practically perfect". Garai in particular received rave reviews, The Independent calling her a "woman on the edge of stardom",  and the London Evening Standard calling her "superlative", and stating that the play was "distinguished by the illuminating, psychological insights of Miss Garai's performance.
Analysis and criticism[ edit ] You can help by adding to it. August The play has an intertextual relationship with Shakespeare's Hamlet.
There are many allusions to Shakespearean plot details as well. For instance, Treplyov seeks to win his mother back from the usurping older man Trigorin much as Hamlet tries to win Queen Gertrude back from his uncle Claudius. Some early translations of The Seagull have come under criticism from modern Russian scholars. The Marian Fell translationin particular, has been criticized for its elementary mistakes and total ignorance of Russian life and culture.
Proliferation and confusion of translation reign in the plays.