The Seagull - Wikipedia
Konstantin had formed a sexual relationship with Marsha; but this did not last. When Nina, Trigorin and Arkadina had come back it had ended. Maybe Arkadina will love the play, maybe Nina and Konstantin will get engaged, who knows? We're to develop, causing major problems for both Konstantin and Arkadina. Nina and Trigorin want to take their relationship to the next level. He returns to calm Irina Arkadina; she fears her son Konstantin has killed himself. . beauty yet begs Trigorin to stay in their relationship despite her old age. Fraught with emotional problems, Konstatin wants to be loved by.
But a man arrives by chance, and when he sees her, he destroys her, out of sheer boredom. Nina lingers behind, enthralled with Trigorin's celebrity and modesty, and gushes, "My dream! Between acts Konstantin attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head, but the bullet only grazed his skull. He spends the majority of Act III with his scalp heavily bandaged. Nina finds Trigorin eating breakfast and presents him with a medallion that proclaims her devotion to him using a line from one of Trigorin's own books: Arkadina appears, followed by Sorin, whose health has continued to deteriorate.
Trigorin leaves to continue packing. There is a brief argument between Arkadina and Sorin, after which Sorin collapses in grief. He is helped off by Medvedenko. Konstantin enters and asks his mother to change his bandage. As she is doing this, Konstantin disparages Trigorin and there is another argument. When Trigorin reenters, Konstantin leaves in tears.
Trigorin asks Arkadina if they can stay at the estate. She flatters and cajoles him until he agrees to return with her to Moscow. After she has left the room, Nina comes to say her final goodbye to Trigorin and to inform him that she is running away to become an actress, against her parents' wishes. They kiss passionately and make plans to meet again in Moscow. Act IV[ edit ] Act IV takes place during the winter two years later, in the drawing room that has been converted to Konstantin's study.
Masha has finally accepted Medvedenko's marriage proposal, and they have a child together, though Masha still nurses an unrequited love for Konstantin.
Various characters discuss what has happened in the two years that have passed: Nina and Trigorin lived together in Moscow for a time until he abandoned her and went back to Arkadina. Nina never achieved any real success as an actress, and is currently on a tour of the provinces with a small theatre group. Konstantin has had some short stories published, but is increasingly depressed.
Sorin's health is still failing, and the people at the estate have telegraphed for Arkadina to come for his final days. Most of the play's characters go to the drawing room to play a game of bingo.
Konstantin does not join them, and spends this time working on a manuscript at his desk.
After the group leaves to eat dinner, Konstantin hears someone at the back door. He is surprised to find Nina, whom he invites inside. Nina tells Konstantin about her life over the last two years. She starts to compare herself to the seagull that Konstantin killed in Act II, then rejects that and says "I am an actress. Konstantin pleads with her to stay, but she is in such disarray that his pleading means nothing.
She embraces Konstantin, and leaves. Despondent, Konstantin spends two minutes silently tearing up his manuscripts before leaving the study. The group reenters and returns to the bingo game. There is a sudden gunshot from off-stage, and Dorn goes to investigate. He returns and takes Trigorin aside. Dorn tells Trigorin to somehow get Arkadina away, for Konstantin has just shot himself.
Petersburg[ edit ] The first night of The Seagull on 17 October at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in Petersburg was a disaster, booed by the audience.
The hostile audience intimidated Vera Komissarzhevskaya so severely that she lost her voice. Some considered her the best actor in Russia and who, according to Chekhov, had moved people to tears as Nina in rehearsal.
The Seagull impressed the playwright and friend of Chekhov Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenkohowever, who said Chekhov should have won the Griboyedov prize that year for The Seagull instead of himself. Moscow Art Theatre production of The Seagull Nemirovich overcame Chekhov's refusal to allow the play to appear in Moscow and convinced Stanislavski to direct the play for their innovative and newly founded Moscow Art Theatre in In the first act something special started, if you can so describe a mood of excitement in the audience that seemed to grow and grow.
Most people walked through the auditorium and corridors with strange faces, looking as if it were their birthday and, indeed, dear God I'm not joking it was perfectly possible to go up to some completely strange woman and say: Stanislavski's attention to psychological realism and ensemble playing coaxed the buried subtleties from the play and revived Chekhov's interest in writing for the stage.
Chekhov's unwillingness to explain or expand on the script forced Stanislavski to dig beneath the surface of the text in ways that were new in theatre.
It also featured Chiwetel Ejiofor and Art Malik. The production was directed by Ian Ricksonand received great reviews, including The Metro Newspaper calling it "practically perfect". Garai in particular received rave reviews, The Independent calling her a "woman on the edge of stardom",  and the London Evening Standard calling her "superlative", and stating that the play was "distinguished by the illuminating, psychological insights of Miss Garai's performance.
Analysis and criticism[ edit ] You can help by adding to it. The devastating consequences of a mother's rejection of her son is central to both Chekhov's play and O'Neill's. The similarity goes beyond situation, however. It is also reflected in the way mother and son in these plays talk to each other at critical junctures, at those points where the depth of their closeness is revealed but where also the lasting damage to the son is done by the mother.
Arkadina and Konstantin have only one such encounter in The Sea Gull: There are several such encounters in Long Day's Journey. In one, late in the play, Edmund begins by appealing to his mother to acknowledge his illness consumption and overcome her addiction, and ends by calling his mother a "dope fiend. The possibility for honesty in the mother, however, is limited by the addiction or obsession she will not admit, and this sharp limitation brings about her cruel rejection of her son.
What chiefly characterizes these mother-son encounters in the two plays is the violent shifts in feeling on the part of both figures, shifts which culminate in sudden, explosive insult. In both plays the son appeals while the mother evades. Both mothers feel quite tender toward their sons at the start, but it is they who begin the vicious exchanges that ensue.
The confrontation in The Sea Gull begins as follows: But it's almost healed. What's left is the merest trifle. Kisses him on the head.
And no more click-click while I am away? No, Mother, that was a moment of insane despair You have magic fingers. After reminding his mother of her charitable nature, which she tends to forget, Konstantin continues: Lately, these last few days, I have loved you as tenderly and as completely as when I was a child. I have no one left but you now. Only why, why have you succumbed to the influence of that man?
The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter
You don't understand him, Konstantin. He is a very noble character. This, of course, Konstantin rejects completely, and instead accuses Trigorin of cowardice. You take delight in saying disagreeable things to me. I respect that man and I ask you not to speak ill of him in my presence. And I don't respect him. You want me to consider him a genius, too, but forgive me, I can't lie, his books make me sick. There's nothing left for people who lay claim to a talent they haven't got but to disparage real talent.
Arkadina's charge of envy is her evasion of what Konstantin is saying about her feelings toward Trigorin. She ends in further evasion, alluding to the middle-class background of Konstantin's father, then calling her son a decadent and a nonentity. He retaliates by calling her a miser. That they make up before they part testifies to their deep love and need for one another, but the damage to the son is great and, as it turns out, fatal.
Here is O'Neill's handling of the same kind of exchange: Come and sit down. You mustn't stand on your feet so much. You must learn to husband your strength. She gets him to sit and she sits sideways on the arm of his chair, an arm on his shoulder, so he cannot meet her eyes. Lean back and rest. But Edmund is determined to make his point: I want to ask you something! You--You're only just started. You can still stop.
You've got the will power! We'll all help you.
Please don't--talk about things you don't understand! She then begins her oft-heard but to Edmund persistently hurtful accusation that it was his being born that started her on morphine.
This leads him in turn to a tone of seeming indifference to her claim that one day the Virgin Mary will help her overcome her problem.
In response she assumes a tone of cold indifference to his feelings and lets it be known that she will have someone drive her to the drugstore for the obvious purchase. While they do not quite hurl insults here, as do Arkadina and Konstantin, the effect is the same, and their later exchange on the same subject too long to be quoted here leads to Edmund's "dope fiend" accusation. There is always a truce of sorts, but Edmund is terribly deflated by his failure, forced to accept for perhaps the thousandth time that his mother is impenetrable.
Following their later, similar exchange, Edmund dashes out for a long walk in the fog, with what one can well assume are suicidal thoughts on his mind. Were it only his mother that stood between him and the "insane despair" that leads Konstantin to take his own life, Edmund could easily have suffered the same fate.
In O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, a distraught son does in fact take his own life because of his mother's rejection of him--and his subsequent betrayal of her. What makes these mother-son confrontations in Chekhov and O'Neill so tellingly similar is that the violent opposition of tenderness and quick, deadly hostility in them is so unmitigated--there is no holding back of either feeling--and that they are so obviously part of a long-standing trauma of rejection felt by the son from his earliest years.
One senses the endless repetition of these exchanges; they feel like echoes of similar exchanges going back to the point of the mother's first withdrawal and the son's first terrible disillusionment.
The son eternally appeals, but the mother will not hear. We sense that we are witnessing part of a long-established pattern of confrontation which makes explicit the nature of the despair both sons feel.