"The Seagull", performed in 1896 and published in Russia the following year as Chayka, is a slice-of-life drama by Anton Chekhov set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century. The cast of characters is dissatisfied with their lives. Some desire love. Some desire success. Some desire artistic genius. No one, however, ever seems to attain happiness.
Scholars have often said that Chekhov's plays are not plot driven. Instead, the plays are character studies designed to create a specific mood. Some critics view "The Seagull" as a tragic play about eternally unhappy people. Others see it as a humorous albeit bitter satire, poking fun at human folly.