Three Sisters

Three Sisters

Language: English

Pages: 60

ISBN: 1537054953

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Chekhov's excellent play Three Sisters depicts intense family drama between the titular three sisters and their respective love interests.

First released to the public in 1901 and an immediate success on the theatre, Three Sisters has been translated and performed in many languages. Theatrical runs continue throughout its native Russia, whilst adaptations for the radio and theatre worldwide are numerous.

The play opens by introducing the characters - Olga, the eldest at twenty-eight, Masha, the middle child at twenty three, and Irina, the youngest aged twenty. Each hold different talents and vocations - Olga is a competent schoolteacher who is promptly promoted for headteacher, Masha is a pianist who has undergone classical training, and Irina has dreams of meeting a love true and pure in the great city of Moscow. Andrei is their brother, highly intelligent and set to become a Professor in Moscow - he has his sights set on Natasha, who in the beginning appears a shy, oft-mocked young girl.

Upon introducing the characters, Anton Chekhov quickly moves onto the first event - Irina's twenty-first birthday, which also happens to be the one year anniversary of the sisters' father's death. Thus all the characters unite in celebration, setting the stage for the dramas to follow.

Lauded for its subtlety, emotive depth and sympathetic cast of characters, Three Sisters is to this day rated as one of Chekhov's best plays.

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thrown on their own resources. The play had begun with them lording it over the drawing room, but now they are cast into the yard. Olga lives at the school, Masha refuses to go into the house, Andrey wanders around with the baby carriage like a soul in limbo. Food has lost its ability to comfort. The Baron must go off to his death without his morning coffee, while Andrey equates goose and cabbage with the deadly grip of matrimony. Each movement away is accompanied by music: The regiment leaves to

don’t drink, I’ve no great fondness for barrooms, but I’d love to be sitting in Moscow at Testov’s tavern right now or the Grand Moscow restaurant, my friend. FERAPONT. Why, in Moscow, a contractor at the Council was saying the other day, there was some shopkeepers eating pancakes;28 one ate forty pancakes and like to died. May ha’ been forty, may ha’ been fifty. I don’t rec’llect. ANDREY. You sit in Moscow in the vast main dining room of a restaurant, you don’t know anyone and no one knows

FERAPONT. How’s that? Papers to sign. ANDREY. You make me sick. FERAPONT (handing him the papers). A while ago the doorman at the town hall was saying…Looks like, says he, this winter in Petersburg there was ten degrees o’ frost. ANDREY. The present is repulsive, but when, on the other hand, I think of the future, it’s so fine! I start to feel so relieved, so expansive; and a light begins to dawn in the distance, I can see freedom, I can see how my children and I will be freed from idleness,

into the house, reading the papers; FERAPONT wheels the carriage. NATASHA (back of the window). Bobik, what’s your mommy’s name? Cutie, cutie! And who’s this? It’s Auntie Olya. Say to auntie: Afternoon, Olya! Itinerant MUSICIANS, a MAN and a GIRL, play the fiddle and the harp. Out of the house come VERSHININ, OLGA, and ANFISA and listen a moment in silence; IRINA comes up to them. OLGA. Our garden’s like an empty lot, people walk and drive right through it. Nanny, give those musicians

are so characteristic that others can imitate them. There is also a class difference in the way the intelligentsia and the servants express themselves. Harder to pin down is the “specific gravity” of a statement that resides in its structure. Russian can reassemble the elements of a sentence to make a particular emphasis; English has to find a way of reproducing this. Mere phrasebook translation, offering a direct statement, can betray the subtle emphases of the original. Finally, certain words

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