A Marriage Proposal

Read Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal.


  1. Identify the object of Chekhov’s satire in this play. Support your interpretation with a specific reference to the text.
  2. Why do you think Chekhov included the character to Chubukov in the play? What functioin does he serve?

Form and Style

  1. The play has a strong emotional tone. Explain how both the structure of the play and the punctuation of the text contribute to the emotional tone. Cite specific examples to support your answer.
  2. Melodrama is defined s “a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions.” Comment on how Chekhov uses melodramatic techniques to create humor in this piece.

Exploring Content

  1. What information about life in Czarist Russia do we learn from this script? Explain how this information creates the context of the drama in the play.

Creative Extension

  1. Choose a segment of the play and rewrite it in a narrative (short story) form. Be prepared to discuss changes you needed to make to transpose one form to another.
  2. Prepare a readers’ theatre presentation of a portion of the script. Focus on capturing the emotional tension created through the dialogue. Record your presentation (audio or video) and share it.
  3. Read Chekhov’s monologue On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco. Using this monologue as a model, write a script for a monologue given by one of the characters from A Marriage Proposal: Chubukov on the dangers of domestic champagne, Natalya on the dangers faced by women at harvest, or Lomov on the dangers of modern fabrics … and so on and so forth and all that.