por Anton Chekhov
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- c. 335 BCE
In this excerpt from Poetics, Aristotle offers a definition of tragedy, as well as several examples and non-examples of the genre.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “On Tragedy” and ask students to determine to what extent the play satisfies the requirements Aristotle outlines for “a perfect tragedy.” Ask students to evaluate whether or not the characters from the play align with Aristotle’s definition for a tragic character. To what extent does Chekhov’s work include the necessary elements of “a perfect tragedy”? Does Chekhov’s work illuminate any additional aspects of the tragedy genre, and if so, how?
A Defenseless Creature
- Anton Chekhov
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904) was a Russian physician, playwright, and prolific author. He is famous for his mastery of crafting short stories. In this story, a woman pleads for aid from a banker on behalf of her sick husband — and won’t take no for an answer.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “A Defenseless Creature” and ask students to discuss how each work comments on the power and importance of money. Compare the character of Madame Shtchukin to the female characters of the play and ask students to determine if any of her character traits can be found in any specific character in the play. What can be discerned about Chekhov’s views on money and women through both texts?
what love isn't
- Yrsa Daley-Ward
In Yrsa Daley-Ward’s poem “what love isn’t,” Ward explores attributes of love not often discussed.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “what love isn’t” and ask students to discuss how the conception of love presented in the poem compares to the ideas about love voiced by the sisters in the play. Would any character from the play agree with the description of love in “what love isn’t”? If yes, who, and if not, why not?
A Dream Within a Dream
- Edgar Allan Poe
In "A Dream Within a Dream," the poet Edgar Allan Poe ponders whether or not everything in life is simply an illusion.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “A Dream Within a Dream” and ask students to discuss the dissatisfaction that the characters experience in each text. What prevents the characters from being happy? What does this reveal about the mindsets of the characters, and how are they similar?
Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1 and 2
- Jane Austen
In “Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1 and 2,” Jane Austen tells the story of three sisters following the death of their father.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 1 and 2” and ask students to discuss how the authors develop the relationship between the siblings in the two texts. How is money a motivator in both texts, and how does it influence the actions of the characters?
- Gwendolyn Brooks
In Gwendolyn Brooks’ short story “Home,” a family may be forced to leave their home.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “Home” and ask students to discuss how the families in the two texts view their home. How do their definitions of home differ? What do their homes mean to them?
Scientists Reveal Three Keys to Happiness
- ABC News
- October 2, 2003
The informational text “Scientists Reveal Three Keys to Happiness” discusses Stephen and Rachel Kaplan’s findings on how to achieve happiness.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “Scientists Reveal Three Keys to Happiness” and ask students to discuss the Prózorov siblings’ level of happiness. How are the three keys of happiness present in the “Excerpts from Three Sisters?” Do the Prózorov siblings successfully achieve the three keys to happiness? Why or why not?
Excerpt From “The Grasshopper”
- Anton Chekhov
In this excerpt from Anton Chekhov’s “The Grasshopper,” a young couple finds happiness together despite their differing interests.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “Excerpt from ‘The Grasshopper’” and ask students to discuss what role social status plays in the two Anton Chekhov texts. Are the women in both texts happy with their social statuses? What elements contribute to how they are viewed by society?
- Alice Gerstenberg
In Alice Gerstenberg’s one-act drama “Fourteen,” Mrs. Pringle hosts a dinner party that does not go as planned when guests cancel at the last minute.Pair “Excerpts from Three Sisters” with “Fourteen” and ask students to discuss how both plays explore how people are affected by their social status. What connection do the characters make between happiness and a high social status? How are familial relationships strained in the two texts by the obstacles they face?
To One Coming North
- Claude McKay
In Claude McKay’s poem “To One Coming North,” a speaker describes coming north and their feelings about their old home.Pair “Excerpt from Three Sisters” with “To One Coming North” and ask students to discuss how both texts explore how people can miss home. What do the sisters in “Three Sisters” miss about their home in Moscow? How does this compare to the experiences that the speaker describes in “To One Coming North”? Why is the speaker in “To One Coming North” ultimately happy with their new home while the sisters are not?