Chekhov presents to us in Act 3 of his play “3 Sisters”, all the characters in the middle of the night, although it is not a very conventional time to be shown on stage, it is staged as a time of distress as the entire town has caught fire, but all the characters of the play are safe and sound, lounging in Irina and Olga’s room.
Chekhov is known for enhancing realism in his plays, he never adhered to the romantic and melodramatic notions only of staged plays ever, instead he always added a sense of realism where the play feels like a slice of life, specially felt in 3 Sisters, he has very intelligently and articulately interwoven complex character relationships with the developing plots and themes. Consequently, the main argument that is formed is the development of these complex characters and how this affects their relationships with other characters and their environment.
Act 3 is the most crucial part of the play as it paves the way for the conclusion of the play, hence Act 3 can also be seen as the climax of the play as it sets a lot of things in motion. The language of the play and the act is very simple and realistic, unlike many other plays where there is an overflow of melodrama, yet with shifts in dramatic beats, singing and crying is also observed. The characters present in this act are all the characters of the entire play namely, Olga, Irina, Masha, Natasha, Chebutykin, Kulygin, Vershinin, Tuzenbach, Andrey, Solyony, Fedotik and Ferapont. These Chekhovian characters are the most inconsistent characters, they can never be predictable, hence making them feature as more life like, their change in behavior does not necessarily have to depend on situational changes. What is even more surprising to witness is the discorded relationship of these complex characters with their environments. The stage picture is very clearly set, the setting is of Olga and Irina’s room, where everyone is coming in and going, the background setting is of the fire, alarms and sirens can be heard. A lot of gestures can be seen being made which speaks volumes about the characters, like kissing of the hand, a few silent pauses in between, motioning or hiding behind the screen on the stage. A great deal of movement is also observed as the characters are seen moving back and forth, or the breaking of the clock, and how it stunned all the characters.