Who is Smirnov and what is his character in The Bear?

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Smirnov is a wealthy landowner with an aggressive, jaded personality. He makes clear that he has no respect for women, and voices misogynistic views throughout the play.

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The Bear is a one-act play which centers around the characters of Elena Popova, a grieving widow, and Smirnov, a landowner to whom Elena's deceased husband owed money. Smirnov has his own debts to pay off and therefore journeys to Elena's household to demand the money that is owed him (money which she does not have the funds on hand to repay). What follows is an altercation between the two: with Elena refusing to pay and Smirnov refusing to leave without the money he is owed.

Smirnov is characterized as highly aggressive. At the same time, I'd suggest that he is also characterized by desperation as well, given that he is under pressure from creditors of his own. Finally, I would note that he has a very jaded personality and voices misogynistic views on women.

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Smirnov is a "landowner in early middle age" according to the introduction we are given to him at the beginning of the play. He is bothering Mrs. Popov because her dead husband owed him a sum of money that he now needs to reclaim or else he will be in financial difficulties. He is a rather abrupt, rash man who comes across as very uncouth compared to the rather sophisticated Mrs. Popov. He is also very stubborn and straightforward, as his declaration to stay until he gets his money shows. Consider the following quote that he says:

It doesn't pay to wear kid gloves with this lot! All right, just you wait--I'll give you something to remember me by! You don't make a monkey out of me, blast you! I'm staying here--going to stick around till she coughs up. Pah! I feel well and truly riled today. I'm shaking like a leaf, I'm so furious--choking I am.

We can see from this quote that he is not afraid of expressing his emotions and that he is a very tenacious individual, determined to stay with Mrs. Popov until he gets his money. We can also infer that he is going to try to be as irritable as possible to ensure he gets his money as soon as he can, no matter how griefstricken Mrs. Popov is.

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