Thursday, March 17, 2022

Tolstoy’s Criticism of Shakespeare and Chekhov

Tolstoy despised Shakespeare. In his essay on Shakespeare, he wrote, “reading "King Lear," "Romeo and Juliet," "Hamlet" and "Macbeth," not only did I feel no delight, but I felt an irresistible repulsion and tedium…” He believed that the tendency of some writers and spectators to find non-existent merits in Shakespeare was the source of “great evil, as is every untruth.” When Tolstoy was bedridden due to illness at his home in Gaspra, Chekhov paid a visit. When Chekhov was leaving, Tolstoy whispered into his ear: “You know, I hate your plays. Shakespeare was a bad writer, and I consider your plays even worse than his.”

No comments: