Chekhov's play "The Brute," also called "The Bear," is a one-act comedy that features three principal characters: Elena Ivanovna Popova, Grigory Stepanovitch Smirnov and Luka. "The Brute" is one of several of Chekhov's comedies referred to as "farce-vaudevilles."Know More
This farce begins with a servant, Luka, comforting his mistress, Popova, who is in mourning for the death of her husband. She has sworn never to love another man to show her deceased husband the meaning of faithfulness, who had been unfaithful to her in life. Smirnov, who later reveals himself to be a misogynist, arrives at her door demanding to be repaid for money owed him by her husband. Popova and Smirnov become engaged in an argument about propriety and the character of women that dissolves into him challenging her to a duel, which, to his surprise, she accepts. He sees her in a new light, confesses his new found admiration and love for her, and eventually she succumbs to his advances before Luka returns to break up their fight.
Chekhov dedicated the play to Nikolai Solovstov, whose boorish performance in the French vaudeville "Les Jurons de Cadillac" partly inspired him to write it. Solovstov even went on to play the role of Smirnov in "The Brute."Learn more about Plays
A play within a play is a dramatic plot device or extended metaphor where characters narrate one story while still part of another. Playwrights use such juxtaposition of nested plays to give a performance of self-reflection and to reiterate the play's main themes. The French term is "Mise en abyme."Full Answer >
The two main characters in the 1961 musical "West Side Story" are Maria, played by Natalie Wood, and Tony, played by Richard Beymer. The two characters are young people from rival New York gangs who fall in love against the advice of their friends.Full Answer >
Anton Chekhov's short story "The Lottery Ticket" is about the eternal human quest to have something different, instead of being satisfied with the life that one has. It is not just the love of money that causes problems in this story; rather, it is the notion that when change is possible, it often makes the life that one has incapable of providing satisfaction anymore.Full Answer >
Anton Chekhov's "A Problem" is a short story about a man named Sasha who cashes in a forged promissory note, which becomes a family secret. His family faces a moral dilemma about how to handle the matter; one uncle believes Sasha should go to jail, while the other believes the family should keep his act a secret and not allow him to face punishment.Full Answer >