Critics accused Chekhov of lacking skill; they naturally did not
see anything funny about the distressing plays that Chekhov
called comedies. But what happened to Three Sisters was even
worse. Regardless of Chekhov’s genuine comic intentions, the opinion that
Three Sisters was written as a drama still exists in criticism.
In its first edition, Three Sisters was subtitled as “drama”;
the fact that Chekhov insisted that he created comedy, even
vaudeville (which he seriously argued about with Stanislavsky
and Nemirovich-Danchenko), sank into oblivion.