The story takes place in the drawing room of Helen’s estate on the one year anniversary of her husband’s death. Since her husband died, Helen has locked herself in the house in mourning. Her footman,
Luka (Helen’s aged footman), begins the play by begging Helen to stop mourning and step outside the estate. She ignores him, saying that she made a promise to her husband to remain forever faithful to his memory. Their conversation is interrupted when Greg arrives and wishes to see the Helen to collect money that her husband owed to him before he dies. She refuses to pay.

Greg decides that he will not leave the estate until his debts are paid off, even if that means waiting until the day after tomorrow. He and Helen get into another argument when he starts yelling at the footman to bring him water or food. The argument turns into a debate about true love according to the different genders. Greg argues that women are incapable of loving “anybody except a lapdog,” to which Helen argues that she wholeheartedly loved her husband although he cheated on her and disrespected her. The argument deteriorates into another shouting match about paying back the debt.

Greg, being insulted, calls for a duel, not caring that Helen is a woman. Upon end you will see how this story will be ended.

The Bear play had its first English language theater premiere in London in 1911. The United States theater premiere was in New York in 1915.

February 2024