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Swan Song – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax Golden Tales

Swan Song – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax-Golden Tales

Swan Song - Four Levels

Swan Song – Anton Chekhov, Russia (1860-1904)

Literal Comprehension

Swetlovidov is a famous actor who is 68 years old. He was inside the theatre in his drunken condition. The theatrical performance was already over. The time is the night. Sweltovidov now comes into consciousness and knew that he slept in the dressing room. In the mean time, a prompter, Nikita came to talk with him. Nikita was so poor and had spent his 45 years time in the theatre. Before coming to the theatre, he was an army. After that, he entered the theatre. At the beginning of theatrical life, he was handsome and energetic. When he was a handsome artist, one beautiful woman fell in love with him.

He proposed her to get married but she could love the artist but could not marry with him. After the woman’s refusal, he turned towards wine and became a heavy drunkard. However, in his present old age, his memory power is too sharp. Swetlovidov can remember many lines of Shakespeare and Pushkin’s verse on which he had acted. He thinks that art can make the man immortal and also gives consolation to the old artist. He says that with art, even the death is afraid and cannot dare take him easily. Anyway, he feels lonely and bored by the life of Moscow. So, he wants to leave it riding a chariot.


The play tells us that if there is art, talent and generous, there is no old age. Swetlovidov is in his sixty-eight. Seeing his lifestyle, he is too worried and spends his life aimlessly. Initially, in the play, he is quite afraid of loneliness and old age. So, to get rid of loneliness, he takes the help of wine. When he remembers his past life, he again becomes sad because as he was a young artist, he proposed a woman to marry with him but she refused to say that she could love an artist but could not marry with him. Then re-realized that he was just an entertainer like a prostitute who sleeps with many people but not fit to marry. Suddenly, he realizes that art can make the artist energetic even in the old age and death is also frightened with it.

Critical Thinking

In the play, there are many unacceptable ideas on which we can raise the question. If a woman can love with the man, then why does not she marry with him because we know that love is blind? Similarly, is it reliable to compare the genius and intelligent artist with a prostitute? Does the death frighten with art and the artist lives longer than ordinary people? If he thinks that art does not give any chance to feel lonely and sad, then why does he want to escape from Moscow? Anyway, it tells the Russian society of the writer’s contemporary time in which society did not like the job of an artist and no girl wanted to marry with him.


After reading this poem, I remember the profession of police and the driver of my country. Policeman maintains the law and peace in the society. With the help of the driver, the passenger can reach their destination. These two types of professional people are really essential to run society smoothly. However, our Nepalese society hates those professions. In the past, that tendency was opposite but in this time, many parents do not want to give their daughter to the policeman and driver. The four years ago, my friend, Shree Prasad Dahal joined in police force. After that, his parents searched him a good girl. Man daughters’ parents told them that they did not want to give their daughter with the policeman. So, knowing the condition of the artist like Swetlovidov really made me remember the condition of the Nepalese policeman and driver.

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