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Anton Chekhov The Major Plays Ivanov * The Sea Gull * Uncle Vanya * The Three Sisters * The Cherry Orchard “Let the things that happen onstage be just as complex and yet just as simple as they are in life,” Chekhov once declared. “For instance, people are having a meal, just having a meal, but at the same time, their happiness is being created, or their lives are being smashed up.” So it is that his plays express life through subtle construction, everyday dialogue, and an electrically charged atmosphere in which even the most casual words and actions assume great importance in his characters’ lives. This principle sets his plays apart from the rest, steering them clear of melodrama