The Seagull

by

Anton Chekhov

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Shamraev and Polina Andreevna’s daughter, a forlorn and sour young woman who is “in mourning for [her] life.” Masha has intense feelings of unrequited love for Treplyov, but after he refuses time and time again to pay her any attention, she decides to try and forget him by marrying Medvedenko. Masha drinks “openly” and heavily, and wears black to commemorate her perennial state of mourning for her own misfortune. She feels deeply and loves intensely, but seeks to bury her feelings time and time again—and fails at this goal continually.

Masha Quotes in The Seagull

The The Seagull quotes below are all either spoken by Masha or refer to Masha. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W. W. Norton & Company edition of The Seagull published in 2010.
Act 1 Quotes

MASHA: Help me. Help me, or I’ll do something stupid, I’ll mess up my life, wreck it… I can’t stand it anymore…

DORN: What do you mean? Help you how?

MASHA: I’m in pain. Nobody, nobody knows how much pain I’m in. (Lays her head on his chest, quietly.) I love Konstantin.

DRON: They’re all so high-strung! They’re all so high-strung! And all this love… Oh, spellbinding lake! (Tenderly.) But what can I do, my child? What? What?

Related Characters: Masha (speaker), Evgeny Sergeevich Dorn (speaker)
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2 Quotes

ARKADINA: Tell me, what’s the matter with my son? How come he’s so tiresome and surly? He spends whole days on the lake, and I almost never see him.

MASHA: He’s sick at heart. (To Nina, shyly.) Please, do recite something from his play!

NINA: (Shrugs.) You want me to? It’s so uninteresting!

Page Number: 102
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4 Quotes

MEDVEDENKO: It’s dark outside. Somebody should tell them to pull down that stage in the garden. It stands there bare, unsightly, like a skeleton, and the scene curtain flaps in the wind. When I was going by last night, I thought somebody was on it, crying…

Related Characters: Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko (speaker), Masha
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

MASHA: It’s all nonsense. Unrequited love—that’s only in novels. Really silly. Just mustn’t lose control or go on waiting for something, waiting for your ship to come in… If love ever burrows into your heart, you’ve got to get rid of it. They’ve just promised to transfer my husband to another school district. Once we’ve moved there—I’ll forget all about it… I’ll rip it out of my heart by the roots.

Page Number: 140-141
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Seagull LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Seagull PDF

Masha Character Timeline in The Seagull

The timeline below shows where the character Masha appears in The Seagull. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...performance. Yakov and some other workmen are hastily putting the finishing touches on the stage. Masha and her suitor, the schoolteacher Medvedenko, are on their way back from a walk. Medvedenko... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
As Masha and Medvedenko approach the stage, Medvedenko tells Masha that Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplyov, Sorin’s nephew, has... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
...a walking stick. He complains about the sleepy decadence of country life as Treplyov urges Masha and Medvedenko to clear the area until the stage is ready. Masha and Medvedenko head... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Arkadina, Sorin, Trigorin, Shamraev, Medevenko, and Masha all arrive at the lake for the performance. Shamraev and Arkadina are discussing the declining... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...she begins to feel guilty for how she treated Treplyov, and begins calling for him. Masha volunteers to go off and look for him. (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...he liked his work. Treplyov enters and tells Dorn that he’s hiding from the “unbearable” Masha. Dorn tells Treplyov how much he enjoyed the play, and how much he admires Treplyov’s... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
...she left for home. Treplyov despairingly begins muttering about how he has to see Nina. Masha finally catches up with Treplyov and tells him that Arkadina is asking after him. Treplyov... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Masha tells Dorn that she needs his help. She tells him that she feels on the... (full context)
Act 2
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Later in the week, Arkadina, Dorn, and Masha are together on the croquet lawn at midday. It is bright and hot outside. Dorn... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...and why he’s so “surly” lately and spends all his time down at the lake. Masha answers that he is “sick at heart” before asking Nina to recite something from his... (full context)
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...of Justice for twenty-eight long years, he deserves to fill his retirement with some enjoyment. Masha heads up to the house for lunch, and as she goes, Sorin remarks that Masha... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...he mutters aloud to himself—it becomes clear that he is writing a character sketch of Masha. Nina greets Trigorin excitedly. He looks up from his notebook and tells her that he... (full context)
Act 3
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...end and his guests are preparing to depart. Trigorin eats lunch while a very drunk Masha stands nearby and talks to him. She tells him that if Treplyov had “wounded himself... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Masha replies that Treplyov is surely jealous of Trigorin—a predicament she can understand. She tells Trigorin... (full context)
Act 4
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...room is empty, but lit by a single lamp against the dark of the evening. Masha and Medvedenko enter, calling for Treplyov, whom Sorin has asked for. Medvedenko looks out the... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Medvedenko asks Masha if they can go home—they have been at Sorin’s estate for three days now, and... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
...he’s also gotten very handsome, and urges him to be a little more “affectionate” with Masha. Treplyov leaves the room in silence. Masha chastises her mother for upsetting Treplyov, but Polina... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
The sound of Treplyov playing violin in the next room comes through the door. Masha begins swaying to the music, and says again that once she moves, she’ll forget Treplyov... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...to complain about his life. Treplyov comes back into the room and sits near Sorin. Masha stares at Treplyov, unable to take her eyes off him. (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
...and talking. Shamraev compliments Arkadina on her youthful appearance after all these years. Trigorin greets Masha and then Treplyov, asking whether Treplyov has renounced his “grudge.” Treplyov, in response, shakes Trigorin’s... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...a card table so that they can all play a lottery game similar to bingo. Masha asks Shamraev if Medvedenko can borrow a horse to ride home—Shamraev says they’re already in... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Arkadina, Dorn, Masha, Polina, and Shamraev all play at a card table and discuss Treplyov’s career. Polina and... (full context)