2 Nov 2018

BA English One Act Play The Bear


THE BEAR
Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov is a great Russian Writer but today he is very famous out of Russia. A very important feature of the Anton Chekhov s’ plays is that there is no action in his plays but there is an emotional accompaniment of the action. His famous play, ‘The Bear’ is a farce, full of fun, noise and laughter
There are two characters in the play who act in a strange way with each other. Their contrasted attitude produces laughter.

  The writer, in this play, makes fun of both the sexes, male and female. Both the character wants to prove their superiority and consistency in love over each other but in the end both of them go against their words. When we start reading the play, we come across Popova who is weeping for her dead husband since the last seven months. She says that she would never marry again in her life and she would not go outside to see others.

Then comes Smirnov, a retired military officer and a feudal, who demands his money back from her. This money was taken as loan by her husband in his life. But Popova in deep mourning and she is not ready   to pay attention in money matters. She asks him that she would not give him any money today but the day after tomorrow as her steward was not there.

 But Smirnov wants his money just now as he has to pay the interest by tomorrow. On this issue, there goes a hot discussion between the both. He says that he will take his money today but she says that she would pay the money the day after tomorrow. Both of them abuse each other very severely. She says that men are inconstant in love and women are constant in love.

 She even abuses her dead husband for not being loyal to her. She shower slime over the men. In response, Smirnov, curses the women for not being sincere in love. He furthers his point of view by saying that even sparrows can be more loyal than to women.

At last it is decided to fight a duel to settle the issue down. Luka the maid servant is terrified to the marrow of his bone. He rushes outside to call the other servants s to save the pair from destruction. She asks Smirnov to teach her how to fire. He starts teaching her. In the meantime both of them fall in love with each other and are ready to marry.



Character sketch of Popova
Popova is the central character of the play. She is the heroin of the play. She is a contrasted character; there is a difference what she says and what she acts. In the beginning pages of the play , we find her as the most virtuous lady of the world. She is an incarnate of loyalty in love.

 Since the seven months of her husband s’ death, she is weeping and shows intention that she will go on wiping throughout her life. Her servant Luka tries to make her understand that she is still young and can restart her life by marrying again. But she refuses strictly by saying that life has lost its meanings for her after the death of her husband. She says that she will meet no one and will never see the light
In the meantime, there comes Smirnov, a feudal and retired military officer. He demands his twelve hundred Rubles which he had given her dead husband. But she says that she will pay the money the day after tomorrow as her steward is on the leave. 

She even abuses her dead husband for not being sincere in love, even before a person who just visits for one day at her house. She says that all the men of the world are insincere in love. Only women are sincere in love. But one is taken aback, when one sees her embracing Smirnov in the end of the play. She is even ready to marry him.


Character sketch of Smirnov
The one act play , ‘The Bear’ is a farce in which characters have been drawn as caricatures. Smirnov is also a comic character. He is a retired military officer and a land lord. He stands for a bear just because of his bear like attitude and bullish nature. He is rightly called as a bear by Popova. The title of the play also signifies the same.

He is ride and rough in behavior. He does not even know how to behave before the ladies. He even uses bad words for women. He says that women are liars, backbiters, inconstant in love. He also describes his own follies made by him in the youth. He wasted much money and time on the tender feelings of love.

He decides to fight a duel with Popova in order to settle the matter down. He becomes his instructor and try to teach her how to fire. In the meantime his feelings about women change and he falls in love with Popova with whom he was very angry at the beginning of the play. He even forgets his loan and is ready to marry her. This sudden transformation in the behavior of the main character is the real charm of the play. Outwardly he is rough and rude but he is not bad at hear.

Points to remember:
1.      It is a farcical play full of fun and noise, in which action leads to no action

2.      Both the characters are contrasted and this contrast create fun and laughter
3.      Popova is a widow who after the death of her husband promises that she would never marry, go out of the house and would never meet any stranger
4.      From this one can guess that she is a very sincere and loyal woman
5.      But as the play progresses she goes against her promises and is ready to marry a person who visits her first time
6.      Smirnov is a retired military officer as well as a landlord, who visits Popova to take his 1200 Roubles back
7.      In the beginning he also shows himself as a determined man but soon he falls a victim of Popova s’ beauty and is ready to let his credit go
8.      Popova is not ready to pay the money and says that she would pay the money the day after tomorrow
9.      Smirnov says that he would take the money the same day as he is in dire need of money
10.  There starts a hot argument between the two and they decide to fight a duel to settle the issue
11.  In the meantime ,they both starts liking each other and are ready to marry
12.  So, both the characters behaves opposite to their talks

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