Chekhov and Ibsen's Tragicomedies Comparison Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

A comparative analysis of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull" and Henrik Ibsen's "The Wild Duck".
# 118153 | 1,353 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Jan 08, 2010 in Drama and Theater (World) , Literature (Russian) , Literature (European (other))

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The paper examines Chekhov's "The Seagull" and Ibsen's "The Wild Duck" that are both literary satires and broad, ironic, tragic comedies. The paper identifies the idea of rivalry and violence in both plays and notes these plays' mundane settings. The paper shows how both plays are essentially about the introspection that arises from all forms of unrequited love; religious, paternal, romantic, filial and peer-driven.

From the Paper:

"Both tragicomedies and both withering modern satires of the traditional melodramatics of the stage, Chekhov's "The Seagull" and Ibsen's "The Wild Duck" find kinship in lost waterfowl, drawn to "toxic" swamps by ill-defined yearnings and promptly mired there by the need for connection though the mechanisms of that connection are corrupted by the self-pity and delusion seeping from progressive failure, and the violence and vengeance that result from the festering of resentment. Both feature an elder protagonist accustomed to the literal and metaphorical limelight, deluded by the fawning admiration of others and blinded by that light (real or imagined: the light and blindness, both) to the turmoil of those closest to them as the light, ironically - and literally in the staging of "The Wild Duck - fades. Self-pity claims both of the young Romantics at the centers of their respective dramas: Treplev of "The Seagull" after being rejected by his fading stage goddess mother, Arkadina, and his inamorata/ingenue Nina (the "seagull" of the title, drawn to the lake of her childhood home); and Hedvig of "The Wild Duck" seduced by deranged Gregers into the belief that her suicide (through the metaphorical agency of the titular wild duck) will restore her father, Hialmar's, love for her."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Christiani, Dounia B., preface to The Wild Duck, translated by Dounia B. Christiani, W. W. Norton & Company, 1968.
  • Clyman, Toby W. Chekhov's Great Plays: A Critical Anthology. New York: New York University Press, 1981.
  • Eekman, Thomas. Critical Essays on Anton Chekhov. Boston, Mass: G.K. Hall, 1989.
  • Ellis, Havelock, ''Ibsen,'' in The New Spirit, 1890.
  • Gilman, Richard. Chekhov's Plays: An Opening into Eternity New Havenand London: Yale Univeristy Press, 1995

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