Three Sisters Literary Elements

Three Sisters Literary Elements


Tragic and dramatic play



Setting and Context

The scene of actions takes place in a small town in Russia in 1850

Narrator and Point of View

The play is divided into four actions. One of each action contains the narration by a third person, who describes the life of characters. Also there are direct speeches and many dialogues between the main characters.

Tone and Mood

Because of tragic events in the play, such as problems of three sisters, the fire in their house and unhappy life, the tone is totally tense and dramatic. The relations between characters have indifferent and discourteous mood.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Three sisters are the main protagonists. Natasha, Andrii’s wife, is antagonist.

Major Conflict

First of all, the major conflict is between people and their existence. Three sisters always complain of their life, job, problems and simultaneously they don’t want to change their life. Women dream about better life and hope to move to Moscow, but they don’t fight to the end, don’t make effort for their sake and grumble about it.


The climax of this play occurs between Natasha and Olga. They fight over Anfisa (she is the old housemaid). Natasha wants the old housemaid leaves her job, but Olga protects Anfisa, because she is a pleasant person. This quarrel ends with Irina’s attack of the nerves.


When Natasha begins to live with Andrii and his three sisters, she hates everybody in this house. And this hatred foreshadows uneasy and disgusting life in Prozorov house.


The author never says directly of future of the characters, but still it is understood from the context, as people who do nothing for their benefit, but are just waiting for circumstances, are destined to lead a miserable life.


Masha sings the song “Beside the sea there stands a tree….”in the play. It is from the poem by Alexander Pushkin- famous Russian writer. Chebutykin always doesn’t like read, but he reads works of Nikolai Dobrolyubov. Nikolai Dobrolyubov is a Russian literary critic.


The author provides the reader with descriptions of Prozorov house, as a “bright and sunny”, and gives a rather vivid vision of duels taking place at that times.


Wishing for better life, for better conditions, the heroes of the play achieve none of these, because a wish is too little, one should act.




The clock is a personification of the heartless person. In the first act when the clock strikes noon, the father of three sisters dies. Also when Chebutykin breaks an heirloom clock, he begins to lose his women he loves.

Use of Dramatic Devices


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