Randall Jarrell (essay date 1969)
SOURCE: "Chekhov and the Play," in The Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov, translated by Randall Jarrell, The Macmillan Company, 1969, pp. 103-13.
[In the excerpt below, Jarrell discusses the themes of Three Sisters.]
In a sense The Three Sisters needs criticism less than almost any play I can think of. It is so marvelously organized, made, realized, that reading it or seeing it many times to be thoroughly acquainted with it is all one needs. In it Chekhov gives us a cluster of attitudes about values—happiness, marriage, work, duty, beauty, cultivation, the past, the present, the future—and shows us how these are meaningful or meaningless to people....
(The entire section is 2447 words.)