Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 11, 2023
December 4, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
Treplev is a twentysomething only child of the famous actress, Irina Arkadina. In the first act of the play, he is anxious and vulnerable about the reception of his first play which he wrote, produced, and directed for presentation by the lake of his uncle Sorin's farm. Because Treplev's mother is such a success in the theater and her lover, Trigorin is a successful writer, Treplev puts a tremendous amount of pressure on himself and the reception of his play. Treplev does not respect the melodramatic morality plays in which Arkadina starred, but instead he searches for a higher form of playwriting that expresses philosophy and observation of mankind and existence in the universe. It is clear from the first act that Treplev's determination to create a new artistic form is directly linked to his overwhelming desire to earn his mother's approval, affection, and love.
Perhaps because she spent her time on the road touring in plays and because her extreme form of vanity causes her to spend more time doting on herself than on her son, it became necessary for Treplev to get Arkadina's attention and approval. Though he wants his mother's admiration, Treplev attempts to gain it on his own terms. He does not write a melodrama or classically structured play, nor does he write a part for Arkadina. On the contrary, Treplev chooses to write daring, abstract material and cast their neighbor, Nina, a young and beautiful girl who steals attention away from Arkadina. Treplev is not willing to adapt his tastes and opinions to Arkadina's liking to gain her favor but wants to be accepted for who he is and his own work independently of her fame.
Early on in the play, Treplev complains about his alienation from his mother's friends and companions in the city who comprise the intelligentsia because he has yet to establish himself in his own right. He is also depressed because he is madly in love with Nina who, in the first act, seems more interested in what she can gain from knowing Treplev and not in his love. Treplev wants love and fame, both entities that his mother, Arkadina, possesses. Ironically, Treplev is as self-obsessed as his mother and barely notices or appreciates the compliments he receives from Dorn and Sorin about his failed play. Treplev, like his unrequited fan, Masha, reminds us of the type of person we all know who enjoys being upset more than being happy but complains about it anyway.
Treplev is sometimes considered a Hamletlike character because of the parallel relationship between him, Arkadina, and Trigorin with Shakespeare's characters of Hamlet, Gertrude, and Claudius. The characters in The Seagull even mention quotes from Hamlet in the first act when Arkadina shows off her acting and teases Treplev.
Later, in Act Four when he becomes a published writer, Treplev still feels empty without Nina. He desires Nina's love even after she left him for his mother's lover and kills himself over a pile of ripped manuscripts when she shows herself to be incapable of loving him back once again. Treplev fills the void of love in his life by taking his life into his own hands.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Seagull!