Three Sisters, The.
Three Sisters, The
(Tri sestry, 1901) A play by Anton Chekhov. Written in four acts, it is regarded by some critics as the best drama of the 20th century. The Prozorov sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina, along with their brother, Andrey, drag out a dull existence in a small provincial garrison town. Only the diversions afforded by the officers and the ever - present dream of someday moving to Moscow keep the sisters going from one drab day to the next. Andrey, who has had dreams of becoming a professor, makes a bad marriage that thwarts his ambition and adds to his sisters ' troubles. His wife, Natalya Ivanovna, becomes a domestic despot. Masha, who is married to the pedantic schoolmaster Kulygin, tries to find happiness in a love affair with the officer Vershinin. The youngest sister, Irina, attempts to escape the drabness of her life by marrying Baron Tuzenbakh, another officer. The removal of the regiment from the town undoes Masha
's plan, because Vershinin is married and cannot take her with him. Tuzenbakh is killed in a duel. The three sisters are left as they were at the beginning, deriving some faint pleasure from the cheerful sounds of the regimental band as it marches away, still clinging to their hopes for a better life.