The Seagull Essay

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Calling The Seagull "a play of infinite tenderness and compassionate understanding," Clurman reviews a 1954 production of Chekhov's play.

The Sea Gull is a play of infinite tenderness and compassionate understanding. That is why it is humorous as well as touching. Contrary to the common cliché, it is also full of action: no moment passes which is not dense with the subtlest interplay of human conflict.

It is often said that Chekhov is the dramatist of futility and frustration. This is misleading. What Chekhov tells us is not that life is a frustration but that a particular kind of life, a particular environment and time, was frustrating. This makes him a social playwright. But he is also "universal": the inner music of his work extends beyond the particular moment he depicts.

The essence of Chekhov lies in the warmth of his feeling for people, his boundless sympathy, his...

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This section contains 789 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Seagull Study Guide
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The Seagull from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.