The article discusses felicitous problems of A. P. Chekhov's play "Ivanov" and the film adaptation of the same name by V. F. Dubrovitsky. Noting the influence of such philosophers as B. Pascal and H. Spenser on Chekhov's idea of happiness, relying on their constitutive statements, the author of the article reveals the motives of the heroes of the play "Ivanov", "unhappy people", which in turn helps to understand the specifics of portraying the characters in the film by V. Dubrovitsky. The analysis of the Shakespearian motifs in Chekhov's work and in the film "Ivanov" allows us to take a closer look at the problem of happiness from different points of view: the psychological, aesthetic, philosophical and communicative aspects of the main character and other characters' views on happiness and unhappiness are revealed. The article proves that in many respects the ideas of Ivanov's characters about happiness are "preset": they are generated either by opinions formed in society, or by views inspired by the stereotypes of the literary-centric epoch. The happiness of the "superfluous people", that is, common people such as gamblers, drunkards, fortune hunters, moneylenders, has a very material appearance: above all, it is money. The main character stands out among the philistines with his utmost honesty of self-reflection and the remnants of his former charisma, occupying a kind of intermediate position between the exceptional hero, Hamlet, and the majority. "Russian Hamlet" feels guilty about his condition and constantly questions the reasons for his abulia and loss of meaning in life, but does not even attempt to change his "unhappy fate," shutting himself off from the world within the framework of reflection. Ivanov's idea of happiness is connected to the search for and loss of the meaning of life, attempts to escape from the exhausting everyday life, to escape from the power of unknown superpersonal forces, as if controlling a person.
A. P. Chekhov, V. F. Dubrovitsky, "Ivanov", the idea of happiness and unhappiness, Shakespearean motifs, the meaning of life, choice, philistine.