Compare and contrast Popova and Smirnov within the play "The Bear" by Anton Chekhov.

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In The Bear, a one-act farce, the exchange between the two main characters, Yelena Ivanova Popova and Gregory Stepanovich Smirnov, is extreme, as these characters both possess intense emotions and are impulse-driven. Certainly, they swiftly prejudge the other and accelerate their antipathies about the opposite sex.

Popova, who has forgiven her deceased husband his many indiscretions, now decides to dedicate herself to his memory by going into mourning. She addresses her dead husband, a philanderer who left her for weeks, in fond tones, telling him she will be "true to [him] till the grave." She refuses to listen to her servant Luka's encouragements to get out and socialize. 

She is not left alone, however, as Smirnov arrives in order to collect a debt. At first he is polite:

I am Grigory Stepanovitch Smirvov, landowner and retired lieutenant of artillery! I am compelled to disturb you on a very pressing affair.

He tells her that her husband died in debt to him for "one thousand two...

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