Commentary page 8
The conversation between Nina and Konstantin on page 8 contains a number of themes which occur throughout the play. Most notably of which is the theme of love. Konstantine proclaims his love for Nina saying “I love you”, to which Nina replies “Shh…” Nina’s quick dismissal of Konstantin’s love could hint that she is scared of her feelings for him and does not want her relationship with Konstantin develop or possibly that she does not love him back. We are more inclined to think the latter and Konstantine takes notice of her reply and does not pester her for the same reply but diverts the conversation. The theme of jealousy is also present in this extract when Trigorin becomes the conversation topic. Konstantin immediately becomes jealous when Nina speaks of Trigorin in a tone of admiration and respect. “When I think of acting in front of him I’m terrified, I’m ashamed” and “Such wonderful stories he writes!” show how Nina is in awe of Trigorin which is the way Konstantin wants Nina to look at him. Konstantin is envious of the Trigorin’s position both as an acclaimed writer and because of the effect he has on Nina.
The style of the conversation between Nina and Konstantin is very realistic, there are short, incomplete sentences spoken, with the use of ellipses which is used throughout the play “Nina: He’s a famous writer…Is he young? Konstantin: Yes, he is” The use of ellipses break up the speech of this otherwise flowing play. It creates a pause for thought for the audience as they wonder why the character has paused. It could also create a sense of tension within the scene, possibly a sense of awkwardness between Nina and Konstantin showing how their relationship has no real depth.