Chekhov’s ‘The Cherry Orchard’: Comedy or Tragedy?

Posted: 17/01/2021 by vequinox in Literature


51mFnGZ-AoLOn the 17th of January 1904, The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov had its premiere at the Moscow Art Theatre. The play was staged by the famous actor/director and creator of the eponymous Stanislavski method, known as “method acting”, Constantin Stanislavski. The original intention of Chekhov was for The Cherry Orchard to be a comedy; yet, Stanislavski turned it into a tragedy. Despite the fact that, as remarked by Jean-Louis Barrault, the play has a relatively simple story line: “In Act One, the cherry orchard is in danger of being sold, in Act Two it is on the verge of being sold, in Act Three it is sold, and in Act Four it has been sold” (Svetlana Evdokimova, What’s so Funny about losing One’s Estate, or Infantilism in “The Cherry Orchard”, The Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 44, No. 4, Winter, 2000), The Cherry Orchard provoked 

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