The Snowstorm is a short play that Marina Tsvetayeva subtitled “dramatic scenes in verse.” It is the first of Tsvetayeva’s dramatic works and was written in Moscow in December, 1918. Tsvetayeva’s early dramatic works are written in a neoromantic style. Although Tsvetayeva is not generally considered as one of the Russian Symbolist writers, or as a member of any group of poets writing during what is known as the Silver Age of Russian poetry, this play is noticeably influenced by the Symbolists.
The play takes place at an inn in Bohemia on New Year’s Eve. A group of travelers is caught in a snowstorm. As is typical of a Symbolist play, the characters are types. They do not have individual identities, but instead represent a certain group of characteristics. An Innkeeper, a Huntsman, a Trader, an Old Woman, and a Lady in a Cape are gathered. The Old Woman is described as representing the essence of the eighteenth century. The Lady in the Cape remains aloof from the rest of the group, and her identity remains a mystery until near the end of the play. The three men seem merely to provide a backdrop of vulgarity to contrast with the action in the final scene. In that respect, they function as a chorus.
After defending the Lady from the sarcastic comments of the three men, the Old Woman gives the Lady a diamond ring that was once given to her by the king. It is understood that she must have the ring, but no explanation is offered....
(The entire section is 571 words.)