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Article Title

Irony and Theatrically in Chekhov's The Sea Gull

Abstract

In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

The play's ending suggests melodrama: Nina, the innocent country girl seduced and abandoned by the worldly writer Trigorin, delivers an emotional speech about faith and endurance and bearing her cross before she runs out into the stormy autumn night. Treplev, the sensitive young man who loves her and has lost her as he has also failed in his attempt to become a great writer, tears up his manuscripts, throws them under his desk, and leaves the stage. Now, as Treplev's mother, the actress Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina, and her companions enter and resume their game of lotto, the sound of a gunshot is heard off-stage. Dr. Dorn leaves to see what has happened and "returns in half a minute" to report that a bottle of ether has exploded in his medicine bag. Arkadina breathes a sigh of relief as she remembers her son's suicide attempt of two years before. The lotto players resume their game and Dorn casually leads Trigorin, Treplev's successful rival in love and art, toward the front of the stage, drops his voice, and speaks the last lines of the play: "Somehow get Irina Nikolayevna away from here. The fact is, Konstantin Gavrilovich has shot himself .... "1 The curtain falls and the audience, as well as the many directors, actors, and critics of The Sea Gull, all assume that Treplev is dead. But what if Chekhov has himself left the actual success of Treplev's second suicide attempt ambiguous?

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.

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