The Cherry Orchard Essay

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Fiero is an accomplished actor as well as a noted collegiate educator. In this essay he discusses Chekhov's skill as a writer of comedy and The Cherry Orchard's status as a misperceived comedy masterpiece.

Henri Bergson, the French philosopher, theorized in the essay collection Comedy, that laughter springs from our perception of "something mechanical encrusted upon the living." The comic figure, Bergson maintained, is rigid or inflexible in circumstances that demand a resiliency of the mind or body. Moreover, laughter increases through a character's repeated failures to alter a rigid behavior, for it is repetition that transforms mere rigidity into the semblance of something mechanical, like a jack-in-a-box.

If Bergson's ideas have any validity, there is no writer who possessed a greater sense of the comic than Anton Chekhov. Nor is that sense more fully revealed than in his last play, The Cherry Orchard, generally considered his greatest...

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This section contains 2,084 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Cherry Orchard Study Guide
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The Cherry Orchard from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.