What type of comedy is Anton Chekhov's The Bear considered to be?

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Maud Scarbrough eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As it states in its title, Anton Chekov's The Bear is a "Farce in One-Act." Critics tend to view farces as comedy for the masses and generally inferior to other comedy genres, such as satire and black comedy. Hence, The Bear is one of Chekov's lesser-known works.

So what exactly is a farce? A farce is described in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as "a comic dramatic piece that uses highly improbable situations, stereotyped characters, extravagant exaggeration, and violent horseplay."

The play's extravagant exaggeration is apparent from the beginning, when one of the three characters, Elena Ivanovna Popova, is mourning the death of her husband. She states,

I shall never go out. . . . Why should I? My life is already at an end. He is in his grave, and I have buried myself between four walls. . . . We are both dead.

She continues to vow to never stop mourning and...

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