Chekhov was a Russian who wrote short stories and plays. Chekhov was a doctor during most of his life. He was said to say, "Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress". The Seagull was written in 1896 and is the first of Chekhov's four major plays. Romantic and artistic conflicts involve the four central characters. Checkhov uses subtext in having his characters skirt around topics and actions such as suicide occur off stage..The play was later performed to rave reviews.