As an actor, how would you perform Masha and Medvedenko at two points of the play, communicating their relationship to the audience? Masha is the daughter of the estate manager, and the wife of Medvedenko. Throughout ‘The Seagull’ Masha’s unhappiness towards the life she bears is emphasised, this can be demonstrated through her clothing as she is only seen wearing black which typically symbolises death and sadness. Masha claims, “I’m in mourning for my life. I am unhappy”, this transfers the meaning of ‘mourning’ from the common mourning of death to the mourning of life. She’s known for her alcohol and drug abuse, which perhaps could be viewed as her drowning her dissatisfaction with her life as she secretly hopes it will turn around with the love of Treplev. Masha is a wife and a mother; she exhibits no motherly compassion, only boredom to the prospect of raising a family. Furthermore, she treats her role as a mother and wife as a job, in which is a burden to her life. Masha spends her time sulking instead of pursuing her dreams; ironically her self-pity is more likely to provoke humor rather than a sigh of sympathy.
Medvedenko is a local schoolteacher, a job that pays very little which has a significant impact on his character as he’s shown spending a lot of time complaining about the issue. “My life is much more difficult than yours. I get twenty-three roubles a month all told –“. Medvedenko eventually marries Masha, however for her out of convenience, not love. He is devoted to her wife, therefore looks past her melancholy behaviour. As a whole, Medvedenko is a boring character who has no masculinity or appeal due to his lenient ways.
In Act 1, the audience immediately establishes an opinion on the relationship between the characters of Masha and Medvedenko therefore posture, proximity and communication etc. are all factors that influence how I would portray them. Masha enters the stage promptly, showing her desperation to sit down and have a glass of...
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