Tragic Comedy In Hamlet Chekhov

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of their artistic commitments forms Chekhov’s artistic manifesto. Along the way, Chekhov explores and questions the idea of the “superfluous man” on his own terms. Chekhov’s use of Hamlet is further developed in his final play, The Cherry Orchard. In The Seagull, Chekhov constructs an overarching analogy throughout the play, using specific quotes and contexts to advance his exploration of art and “tragic comedy” in everyday life. The Cherry Orchard is less obviously linked to Hamlet, but its references show how Chekhov’s techniques had developed by that point. In Act II, Lyubov is discussing with Varya her possible engagement with Lopakhin when Lopakhin quotes from Hamlet. Lyubov: And look, Varya, we’ve made quite a match for you; congratulations. Varya (Through tears): It’s no joking matter, Mama. Lopakhin: “I’ll feel ya, get thee to a nunnery. . .” Gaev: “My hands are trembling; it’s been a long time since I played billiards.” Lopakhin: “I’ll feel ya, o nymph, in thy horizons be all my sins remembered!” (349). In this section, Lopakhin’s “I’ll feel ya” is a mispronunciation of “Ophelia” from the original line in Hamlet. In Russian, its transformed meaning is closer to “get drunk”. Similarly, “horizons” is misquoted from the original “orisons”. At face value, Lopakhin’s misquotes have comedic value, but the lines also hint at deeper aspects of his character. Lopakhin, like most of the characters in The Cherry Orchard, has conflicts with his past that translate into

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