Comparison of the Three Sisters and Antigone

Topics: Anton Chekhov, Sophocles, Character Pages: 3 (1022 words) Published: May 17, 2011
World Literature Paper 1
In the plays The Three Sisters by Anton Chekov and Antigone by Sophocles, dialogue plays a key role in the characterization of the protagonists, because dialogue can act as a form of indirect characterization. The Three Sisters is a play set in the early 1900s, and is about three sisters who try to lead meaningful lives which are surrounded by people constantly distracting them from the passage of time and their longing to return to their home country of Moscow. Antigone is a Greek tragedy written approximately two thousand years ago and is about family betrayal and honor and how the protagonist, Antigone, goes against King Kreon who is her uncle. Even though these plays were written in very different time periods, dialogue between the protagonists and other characters in each play is important for characterization of the protagonist. Different traits of the protagonist can be communicated through dialogue of characters which have specific types of relationships with certain characters such as a family member, lover, or even a servant can provide opportunities to convey different parts of the protagonist’s personality. In plays dialogue is the most significant aspect of the writing, because it is the most effective method of conveying character traits, or characterization.

Even though Antigone and The Three Sisters were written roughly two thousand years apart, the plays have very similar indirect characterization built into the dialogue. For example in The Three Sisters Olga has a dialogue with Masha on page two which states: “Olga: Masha. Please don’t whistle. Please.

Masha: . . . Don’t whistle?
Olga: Please. My head is splitting, I’ve grown old working, and I’m sorry if I seem to carp, but I need some quiet, you know . . .? Masha: . . . some quiet.”
This quote shows characterization of Olga and Masha who are two out of the three protagonists. Olga’s annoyance and her comment of how she has grown old working tells the...
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