Would the plot structure of The Cherry Orchard be considered as climactic or episodic?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Using Shakespeare as one of its main users, the episodic plot follows a structure that is mainly characterized by the inclusion of a varied number of characters (along with their own stories within the play ), by multiple changes in the setting, specific episode or scenes that may or may not be sequentially ordered, and by the shifts in perspective or even narrative.

One of the most common definitions used to describe the episodic plot defines it as on which is

made up of a series of chapters or stories linked together by the same character, place, or theme but held apart by their individual plot, purpose, and subtext. In fact, the chapters or stories could be shuffled around and placed in a different order...because there is no overall beginning, middle, and end to the book or story as a whole

This being said,The Cherry Orchard reunites these very traits. With a good number of characters, each suffering from their own incidents of deception, the play breaks into a diverse number of subplots which, alone, qualifies the play as episodic. Moreover,The Cherry Orchard is actually anti-climactic, because there are several instances where the subplots build up great suspense and, yet, nothing ever comes to a conclusion: the anticipated engagement does not take place, important missives are dismissed, and a lot of the action changes settings dramatically, some of it even happens outside of the stage, and the metaphors and allegories to change are rampant.