The Seagull is the first of Anton Checkov's four full-length plays. It explores the romantic and artistic tension in the relationships between a young woman, a fading older lady, her playwright son and a popular story writer. The play references Shakespeare's Hamlet both in text and content. It has a cast of eclectic characters whose principle dramas play themselves out off stage and in unvoiced subtext. As this opposed the melodramatic theatre of the day, the play's first reception in 1895 was hostile. It later became a huge success.