The Bear: A Joke in One Act is a one-act comedic play by Anton Chekhov. The play was originally dedicated to Nikolai Nikolaevich Solovtsov, Chekhov's boyhood friend and director/actor who first played the character Smirnov.
The Bear's comedy derives from the characters' lack of self-knowledge. The widow Popova fancies herself inconsolably bereaved, while Smirnov considers himself a misogynist. They are both stock examples of pretentious extravaganza: figures made ludicrous by pretending to be more than they actually are.