Is The Cherry Orchard a tragedy or a comedy? What are the comedic or dramatic elements in the play?

Asked on by neygiz

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tresvivace's profile pic

tresvivace | College Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Anton Chekhov conceived of this play, which turned out to be his last, as a comedy,designating it “A Comedy in Four Acts” and even emphasizing to the Moscow Art Theatre that the last act should be “merry and frivolous.”  He suggested that some portions were even farcical.  Nevertheless, most interpretations and theatrical productions have emphasized its tragic aspects. It is understandable why the playwright’s intentions have been largely disregarded; the subject is a serious and depressing one including the family’s loss of their ancestral home and removal from it and other sad developments as well.  The destruction of the orchard also represents the destruction of illusions—sad, to be sure, but perhaps hopeful.


Thus, as the inevitable change in society with the dawning of the 20th Century comes, the play represents this time period and portrays an end of an aristocratic era with both tragic and comic elements.  The play is best characterized as a tragicomedy.


sadafmunir's profile pic

sadafmunir | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

cherry orchard is both a tragedy as well as a comedy....

infact its a mingled sort of play by chekhov....

If we see it under the destructive and losing authority from

the hands of Lyubov family then on individual level we shall call it a tragedy ........

but if we take it on the speeches of various comic and farcical characters included in it then we'l call it as a comedy.....

As few critics call this play "A Comedy in Four Acts"

Certainly on the whole it is about the emancipation in Russia when feudalism lost hold and serfs got freedom..........


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