Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard”: Tragedy or Comedy?


It does not make sense when someone calls Anton Chekhov’s poem The Cherry Orchard a comedy, but as one progresses to analyze the book, this idea becomes a reality. The play is centered on Lyubov Andreyevna whose irresponsible mannerism leads their family into a tragedy of financial collapse and this forces them to look at what they normally do not care to look at – losing their ancestral Cherry Orchard. Besides, the play depicts a lot of contempt for love since most of its characters such as Varya and Lopahin get disappointed. Also, the author explores suicide when Firs waits to die on the realization that everyone else has deserted him in the abandoned house.

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At the end of the play, the author makes one of the main characters, Firs, to feel useless. Indeed, it sounds absurd when such a play is called a comedy, but Chekhov, who is the author, believes it is. One of the first people to differ with Chekhov is Konstantin Stanislavsky, the director of the play, who is convinced the play is a tragedy. Chekhov is deeply frustrated by the stand of the director that he decides to destroy the manuscript copies. This conflict between the author and the director in The Cherry Orchard shall be explored in this paper, besides determining who is right between the two men.

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Accordingly, many characters in the play are humorous. For instance, Gaev, the brother of Lyubov, displays a lot of entertaining gestures when he makes his stand regarding bookcases known. He humorously honors the bookcase for serving the Justice and the Good for the past one hundred years. He proceeds with his comedy when he praises the Divinity and Beauty that the art of nature contains. It is also unrivaled that Semoyonov is another comical character in the play.

This is evident when he is called a parasite of a neighbor, swallows the pills that he snatches from Lyubov, and sleeps frequently while speaking to some of the characters. Comedy is also apparent when Firs communicates with some of the characters. In fact, his responses are not only sarcastic but also generate a great sense of humor. Other episodes of humor are apparent in the play when a character such as Charlotte Ivanovna responds to no one in particular that her dog also eats nuts. It even gets more interesting when the author does not develop this statement of Charlotte.


In line with the ongoing discussion, The Cherry Orchard can be seen as a play with characters of high performance acting by means of fear to generate some sense of tragedy. These characters undergo all the patterns of tragic action: suffering and endurance, destruction, and sacrifice. For example, tragedy befalls Lyubov, Varya, Gaev, and Anya when their Cherry Orchard is destroyed at the end of the play.

Also, the death of the aging Firs conveys a strong impression of waste accompanied by misery and emotional distress. Fittingly, all the above scenes give the play experiences of majestic sadness in which the whole pleasure of tragedy resides. However, the overall picture of the character’s extreme actions and their inappropriate responses within the context of unpromising misunderstanding depicts comedy. Conclusively, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Stanislavsky is wrong when he does not appreciate The Cherry Orchard as a comedy.

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"Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard": Tragedy or Comedy?" StudyCorgi, 1 Apr. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard": Tragedy or Comedy?" April 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard": Tragedy or Comedy?" April 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard": Tragedy or Comedy?" April 1, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard": Tragedy or Comedy'. 1 April.

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