Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Irina Arkadina

Irina Arkadina (ihr-IHN-uh ahr-kah-DIH-nuh), an aging, famous Russian actress who is vain, egotistical, and selfish. Living only for public acclaim of her art, Irina is neither willing nor able to establish a warm human relationship with her lover, Boris Trigorin, or with her son, Constantine Treplieff. Her disregard for her son helps to drive him to self-destruction.

Constantine Treplieff

Constantine Treplieff (kohn-stahn-TIHN trehp-LYEHF), a struggling young writer, the son of Irina Arkadina. He is an extreme idealist, both in his love for Nina Zarietchnaya and in his art. Constantly seeking new forms in his writing, he ignores literary conventions and believes that life must be represented not as it is but as it ought to be. In a moment of despair over his work, he shoots a seagull (which symbolizes human aspiration) and then makes an unsuccessful attempt on his own life. Near the end of the play, deserted by Nina, misunderstood by his mother, and ignored by more successful literary men, he finds himself unable to believe in anything, and he commits suicide.

Boris Trigorin

Boris Trigorin (boh-RIHS trih-GOH-rihn), a successful author and Irina Arkadina’s lover. Although his writing has...

(The entire section is 566 words.)

The Seagull Character Analysis

The Seagull Eugene Sergeevich Dorn

Dorn is a doctor, like Chekhov himself, and as such is a familiar figure in the playwright's dramas. He is a rather world-weary man,...

(The entire section is 187 words.)

The Seagull Masha

Daughter of Ilya and Pauline Shamreyeff, Masha (also called Maria Ilyinishna) is a young woman who assumes a melancholic demeanor, though it...

(The entire section is 195 words.)

The Seagull Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko

A rather unassuming and placid schoolmaster, Medvedenko diligently woos Masha, a woman whose passionate nature and eccentric manner simply...

(The entire section is 108 words.)

The Seagull Ilya Afanasevich Sharmreyeff

Ilya Shamreyeff, a retired army lieutenant, is Peter Sorin's irascible and tyrannical steward. As the inept Sorin complains, Ilya runs the...

(The entire section is 230 words.)

The Seagull Peter Nikolaevich Sorin

Peter Sorin, brother to Madame Arkadina, is a retired magistrate in his early sixties. He is also the host and owner of the country estate...

(The entire section is 261 words.)

The Seagull Konstantine Gavrilovich Treplyov

Son to Madame Arkadina and nephew to Peter Sorin, Konstantine Treplyov (also known as Kostya) is an aspiring writer in his early twenties....

(The entire section is 292 words.)

The Seagull Madame Treplyov

Madame Treplyov (also called Irina Nikolaevna Arkadina) is the sister of Peter Sorin and mother of Konstantine Treplyov. She is a very...

(The entire section is 300 words.)

The Seagull Boris Alexeevich Trigorin

Boris Trigorin, a successful novelist, is the traveling companion and lover of Irina Arkadina. His relationship with her and the acclaim...

(The entire section is 188 words.)

The Seagull Other Characters

Pauline Andreevna
Ilya Shamreyeff's wife, Pauline is often found in the company of the physician, Eugene Dorn, with...

(The entire section is 414 words.)