So far as elements such as the actual texture and diction of these two writers are concerned, I'm only able to rely on their transators' skills and accuracy, like most of us in the English-speaking world. With regard to the content, dramaturgy, and ideas behind their plays, I would make...
So far as elements such as the actual texture and diction of these two writers are concerned, I'm only able to rely on their transators' skills and accuracy, like most of us in the English-speaking world. With regard to the content, dramaturgy, and ideas behind their plays, I would make a few basic observations at the risk of oversimplifying.
In his best-known plays, Ibsen focuses on the inner conflict of a single character, such as Nora in A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, and Stockmann in An Enemy of the People. Their struggles within themselves are magnified by, or for the most part caused by, a hostile or indifferent outside world. Hedda, for instance, though she isn't supposed to be a particularly "virtuous" person, comes across positively to most of us, I think, because all the people around her are either hypocritical, unfeeling toward her, or both. Ibsen's dramas are intensely personal, casting a sharp spotlight on individuals and their private tragedies.
Chekhov is different, for the most part. In The Cherry Orchard there is a panoply of characters, and the actual drama being enacted is part of the background of social and historical changes taking place in Russia 120 years ago. The cast seem to represent all of Russia. Lyubov Andreevna and her family are unable to pay their debts and must auction their estate. They are symbols of the Russian gentry as a whole, and their beloved cherry trees are symbols of the past. The world of the future is represented by Lopakhin, the merchant descended from serfs who buys the estate, and by an intellectual, the perpetual student Trofimov. The play could only take place in Russia; a transfer of the setting to another country would require massive changes. Ibsen's plays, on the other hand, though set in Norway, could really take place anywhere in the middle-class world of that time. In addition, there is less "action" in a Chekhov play and more extended talk and philosophizing. Ibsen's plays have more of the straightforwardness and purposeful dialogue that became the norm in what I would regard as the dominant dramatic form of the following century: film.
Still, it's perhaps true that Ibsen and Chekhov have more in common than initially meets the eye. Both are realists, and yet both prefigure the modern theatre. Both deal with social issues and the changing world of their time. And both portray unusual types of individuals that previous dramatists had, for the most part, shied away from.