From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Character Role Analysis


Vanya's name is on the cover of the play, so that gives us a hint that he's the head honcho. Of course, the fact that he's a bit of a disappointment when it comes to heroes is all part of the play's big joke. He's mediocre, and he doesn't do anything to change his mediocre life, which is what the play criticizes. Vanya's at the center of the criticism, so we'll call him the protagonist.