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The Sea-Gull



Translated by Constance Garnett

This is the first of what are generally considered to be Chekhov's four major plays. It was written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, and her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Tréplev. The character of Trigorin is considered Chekhov's greatest male role, though as with the rest of Chekhov's full-length plays, The Seagull relies upon an ensemble cast of diverse, fully developed characters. In contrast to the melodrama of the mainstream theatre of the 19th century, lurid actions (such as Konstantin's suicide attempts) are not shown onstage. Characters tend to speak in ways that skirt around issues rather than addressing them directly; in other words, their lines are full of what is known in dramatic practice as subtext, or text that is not spoken aloud.

Inspired by a real-life incident of the death of a sea gull, this is hailed as the best written play by Chekov. It tells a poignant love story centered on literary non-entity Konstantin's tragic quest for a burgeoning actress Nina. Swirling around the country estate are characters who reflect Konstantin's pain and suffering in their own harshly realistic ways. In this famed play, Chekov introduces a brand new form of literature to emphasize characters other than plot. Instead of placing characters beneath a steady frame, Chekov lets his characters guide the subtle movement of the sad tale of devastated dreams and hopes. The dying sea gull symbolizes the emptiness of defeat and further stressing the beauty of life. The fullness of being simply alive comes beaming with power and touches life.

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Recent Forum Posts on The Sea-Gull

I really like this play!

I did :)

translation of the seagull

Does anyone know about this English translation of THE SEAGULL? Who has done it and when? Is it a pure translation or has it been altered?

bravo and brava!

Did any of you happen to go to the reading of the 1st act in Dayton, Oh the other night? You must have seen the satellite feeds on you-tube or heard thru comcast downloaded; it was the actors' first run-through, never before picking up the script, and it was phenomenal! Wiltonian Marquis and Nastassia Tangie were eloquent, bizarre when warranted, sublime with expression and unforced. Then a surprise! The Dayton Community Theater hosted the cold read, and guested 35 attendees AND also none other but the elusive and captivating Ray Fiennes himself!( being a recent alumnus it was no surprise as he went to the Dayton Community Theater to re-hone his skills recently instead of hopping back across the pond for a refresher course) Anyway, he strolled Nastassia off the stage after the read, and bragged about how real her partaking in her snuff was. He then mimicked how effectively she wadded it up in her fingers and threw it in her mouth by pulling Skoal out of his pocket and wadded it in his mouth! He offered some to the entire cast! Then he ran up to the stage and fell down at Mr. Marquis' feet and began to do push-ups to convey how much strength and conviction his portrayal of Treplieff was! Mr. Marquis fell on the floor and matched him, push-up for push-up but went 32 push-ups more to display his physical prowess! Such the commotion and the cacophony in the room after Mr. Marquis and Mr. Fiennes then challenged each other to a swordfight backstage. Nastassia and the director stepped in when they saw that Mr. Fiennes couldn't catch his breath because Wiltonian was making him read lines in between push-ups. You must all see it-it is irreverently fantastic.:thumbs_up


Great play I was deeply moved. Go MADD. Melanie Pearson.

mata physics

this is an other extraordenary piece of art.the more you think deeply the more you understand. he has got a unique style of expression.
the death of an official is a leading example of his unique expression.

No Subject

Absolutely touching and wonderful story. I'm a beginner attempting to be Nina in this play in a monologue, glad to find this site so that i can learn about what others feel so that i can develop my character more in my acting. If anyone out there wants to offer help on how i could play this character, please give me some tips right here.


Chekhov has got a complete command over the expression of very deep N very realistic thoughts. His point of view about Love and about being and nothingness is very powerful. He normally confined his reader to a single theme and fly with that.
“Love” one of his masterpieces
“the bear” is also a wonderful and very amazing play by him.

The Sea Gull

Chekhov is sweet! I love stories that have no ending. I draw a quisitive connection to Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." Rock on nerds!!!

No Subject

A beautiful and tragic story. I almost cried at the very end while reading it just now and i am sure i would be greatly moved if i saw this performed.

No Subject

I haven't read the Seagall yet. I am doing a research project on Anton Chekhov and I have to read a play that he wrote. I am hopeing that I won't be disappointed when I read his work.

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