Thursday, February 23, 2012

Uncle Vanya - Chekhov

Uncle Vanya tells the story of a family headed by aging Professor Serebryakov, a once celebrated academic whose career and health are in decline, he owns the struggling country estate that once belonged to his late wife. Serebryakov's daughter Sonya and former brother-in-law, Uncle Vanya, now run the property with help from Marina and Telegin. Serebryakov has returned to the home along with his young second wife Yelena, whose beauty draws attention from both Vanya and Astrov, a country doctor and forester who is a frequent visitor to the estate.
All of the main characters are pitiable in that none of them have found a satisfactory life. The professor, once full of promise, is now gout-ridden and does not have the standing among the intelligentsia that he once enjoyed. Yelena is giving her best years to the old man, much to the distress of Vanya, who has already given Serebryakov decades of fruitless labor. Sonya has toiled on the property and loves Astrov, though his affections are directed toward Yelena. Astrov dedicated his life to healing the sick and preserving his beloved forests, only to find himself surrounded by peasants while watching his trees slowly disappear.
Love and angst, 2 fired shots that are as futile as the lives they all live. First Chekhov play I've read where all the characters have survived to the end...and yet the lives they live are long and monotonous...a long breath as they slowly wait to die.

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Henry V - William Shakespeare

In this essay, I will examine the rhetorical and dramatic effectiveness of King Henry’s speech to the Governor of Harfluer in Act 3 Scene 4 ...