The Seagull

by

Anton Chekhov

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Arkadina’s brother. A retired government official who now owns a large country estate on the edge of a lake, the elderly and sickly Sorin fears he has let his life pass him by—and is determined, in spite of his age and declining health, to have the experiences he longs for. Sorin is a kind, funny old man whose wistfulness never turns to resentment. He lives vicariously through the young people and artists who flock to his estate over the summer. Though at the beginning of the play he seeks to prolong his remaining years through treatments and medicines, by its end he has relinquished his fear of death and is determined to simply enjoy the time he has left. Sorin, like Trigorin, Treplyov, and Dorn, is one of the play’s characters believed to represent a version of Chekhov himself—Chekhov, too, lived on a large rural estate which attracted many artists, visitors, and admirers, and around the time of The Seagull’s composition, Chekhov was living in the country in an attempt to mitigate the effects of his rapidly-declining health.

Pyotr Nikolaevich Sorin Quotes in The Seagull

The The Seagull quotes below are all either spoken by Pyotr Nikolaevich Sorin or refer to Pyotr Nikolaevich Sorin. 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 3 Quotes

ARKADINA: Now I’ve got to go and I still don’t know how come Konstantin took a shot at himself. I suppose the main reason was jealousy, so the sooner I take Trigorin away from here, the better.

SORIN: How can I put this? There were other reasons too. Take my word for it, a man who’s young, intelligent, living in the country, in the sticks, with no money, no position, no future. Nothing to keep him occupied. Gets ashamed of himself and alarmed by his own idleness.

Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:
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Pyotr Nikolaevich Sorin Character Timeline in The Seagull

The timeline below shows where the character Pyotr Nikolaevich Sorin 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
It is a summer evening at Sorin’s country estate. On a grassy knoll down by the lake, an “amateur” stage has been... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
As Masha and Medvedenko approach the stage, Medvedenko tells Masha that Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplyov, Sorin’s nephew, has written a play for his beloved Nina Zarechnaya to act in—the two young... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Sorin and Treplyov walk down towards the stage area—Sorin, a frail older man, uses a walking... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Sorin asks Treplyov why his mother (and Sorin’s sister) Arkadina, a well-known actress, is in a... (full context)
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Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Sorin interjects to ask Treplyov what he knows about Arkadina’s beau, the novelist Trigorin. Treplyov describes... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
...to sneak out of her father’s house unnoticed, she can only stay for a little. Sorin hurries off to gather the others and bring them down for the performance. Treplyov and... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Polina Andreevna, the wife of Sorin’s estate overseer Shamraev, comes down to the lake with Dorn, a doctor and guest of... (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... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Sorin chastises his sister for offending Treplyov. Arkadina replies that her son told her the play... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Nina comes out from behind the stage and greets everyone warmly. Sorin and Arkadina congratulate her on her performance, and Arkadina tells her she has an “obligation”... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Nina says it’s time for her to go. Arkadina begs her to stay longer, and Sorin and the others follow suit, asking her to linger just another hour. Nina, in tears,... (full context)
Act 2
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Arkadina picks up the book Sorin has been reading and begins reciting from its pages aloud. The passage she reads concerns... (full context)
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Sorin, Nina, and Medvedenko come down to the croquet field. Sorin excitedly announces that Nina’s father... (full context)
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Arkadina shakes Sorin awake—he has been snoring—and chides him for not taking better care of himself or seeking... (full context)
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
...into town, but Polina says there’s nothing she can do—there are simply no free horses. Sorin asks Nina and Medvedenko to come up to the house with him to try to... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
...lawn—Dorn asks her how things are going inside. Nina reports that Arkadina is crying and Sorin is having an asthma attack. Dorn stands up to head inside so that he can... (full context)
Act 3
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
In the dining room of Sorin’s estate, trunks and boxes are lined up against the walls: the summer is coming to... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Arkadina and Sorin come into the dining room, and Arkadina asks if Nina has just left—and if she’s... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Sorin is planning on going into town, but Arkadina suggests he stay and rest for his... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Sorin suggests Arkadina give Treplyov some money, but she says she has none to give. Sorin... (full context)
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Sorin says he’s about to faint and wobbles on his feet—Arkadina calls for help. Treplyov (with... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
Arkadina and Treplyov are alone. Treplyov suggests Arkadina lend Sorin some money so that he can get out of the countryside—Arkadina again states that she... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Ego and the Self Theme Icon
...Polina Andreevna comes into the room and brings Arkadina a basket of plums for her journey—Sorin and Medvedenko enter as well. Sorin is dressed to go into town, and Medvedenko announces... (full context)
Act 4
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...years have passed since the end of act three. Treplyov has turned a drawing-room in Sorin’s house into an office, and it is covered in stacks of books and scattered papers.... (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 their baby is at home with the nursemaid. Masha... (full context)
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
...she’ll forget Treplyov within a month. Dorn and Medvedenko, who hasn’t left after all, wheel Sorin into the room in a chair. The three men complain about how expensive things are,... (full context)
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Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
Sorin asks where Arkadina has gone, and Dorn answers that she’s gone to the station to... (full context)
Art vs. Fame Theme Icon
Unrequited Love Theme Icon
Mediocrity and Lost Potential Theme Icon
...disowned her and installed watchmen around their estate so that she cannot even get close. Sorin laments Nina’s hard luck, reminiscing about what a lovely girl she was—and admitting that even... (full context)