The Theater: The Patient Is the Disease

When one attends a Chekhov play, one does not, strictly speaking, go to the theater. One drops in on life. No stethoscope is needed to detect the heartbeat of existence. Chekhov may be the best imaginable argument for a playwright's having some other occupation.

As a physician, Chekhov focused on life instead of zeroing in on a desk, a blank piece of paper and some obsessive fantasy or other. As a doctor, he knew that to some degree the patient is the disease. A doctor with a tragic sense is aware that all of his...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!