Mrs. Popov In Anton Chekhov's 'The Brute'

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In William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 151 he writes, “Love is too young to know what conscience is;” (CITE). This quote describes the character, Mrs. Popov, in Anton Chekhov’s play, “The Brute”, because her moral standards changed in the name of love. This play is about how a woman stayed dedicated to her deceased husband, but ironically falls for the first man, Mr. Smirnov, she sees after seven months of being cooped up in her house. The theme of this drama is that love fades because by the end of the play she’s moved on with Mr. Smirnov. Chekhov uses symbolism, his title, and the character’s sudden epiphany to prove this theme throughout the story. First of all, symbolism is used to prove the theme by using the horse, Toby, to represent her departed husband. Mr. Popov. At the beginning of the play, she loves Toby and requests…show more content…
Popov’s main trait was that she was dedicated to her husband. Mrs. Popov and Mr. Smirnov are both flat characters with only a main trait to distinguish them by. Mrs. Popov is first seen as a depressed widow grieving her husband, but her personality unexpectedly changes after meeting Mr. Smirnov. She starts to realize she isn’t being faithful to her husband by staying locked in the house, but naïve. This is her realization that “falling in love” with Mr. Smirnov is acceptable. On the other hand, Mr. Smirnov came off as cold and closed off because he wanted to stop getting played by women after he had given so much to many relationships without getting that attention returned. Ironically, though, he instantly falls in love with Mrs. Popov. After having a few drinks, he states, “I like her. I’m even prepared to consider letting her off the debt… I never knew a woman like this before” (Chekhov 537). Both characters had an abrupt epiphany after meeting each other that same day proving the theme that love fades because Mr. Popov was swiftly
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