Carolyn's Reviews > The Four Major Plays: The Seagull / Uncle Vanya / Three Sisters / Cherry Orchard

The Four Major Plays by Anton Chekhov
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I'm reading these plays to prepare for an acting class I will be taking which will focus on the work of Chekhov. I'm actually listening to these on audible -- which are recordings of live performances. In addition, I listened to an audible recording of one of Chekhov's best short stories, In the Ravine, by Kenneth Brannagh.

Three Sisters: Since I listened to a recording of a performance, I wasn't fully successful at keeping all of the characters straight, but I was able to see some of the themes that Chekhov is known for: love of nature and destruction of the ecology, unrequited love, class struggle, value of work. There are also moments when the character muse on the questions, "In a hundred years, how will future generations look back on what we did? Will life be better then or worse?" It is a drama, but there are some light-hearted moments.

Uncle Vanya: Much more comedic than Three Sisters. Same themes. Now I also see that there is a doctor in both casts and he uses the medical profession both symbolically and to make social commentary on the state of healthcare in Russia. Chekhov was a licensed physician himself. His characters are very interesting and they make you think. You can't pin them down into stereotypes, you are always trying to understand their motivation and aspirations. Even in his treatment of similar themes, he isn't preachy. His work leads the reader/viewer to examine his/her own thoughts and attitudes about these things. That is probably why his works are considered such classics.

On to The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard...

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Reading Progress

September 11, 2016 – Started Reading
September 16, 2016 – Shelved
November 25, 2016 – Finished Reading

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