Ibsen’s The Wild Duck and Chekhov’s The Seagull: Classical Tragedy in Modern Perspectives


Since its birth in ancient Greece, tragedy as an important dramatic form has always attracted the attention of those who have a tragic sense of life. Although many scholars of tragedy put forward a bleak view regarding the possibility for the continuance of tragedy in modern times, two great dramatists, Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov, showed that tragedy can still be created in modern times provided that writers can adjust their tragic visions with the spirit of their age. This paper is an attempt to analyze the ways in which Ibsen and Chekhov portrayed the tragedy of man in the modern world in plays like The Wild Duck and The Seagull which deal with new tragic themes and concepts. The present article would also offer a brief glance at Greek tragedy to examine the relationship between these modern works and those of the ancient past.