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George converses with Aunt Julie about his honeymoon, his new wife, and his impending job as a professor.
After she’s gone, he asks his wife to be more friendly with his Aunt. Still, it’s clear that he can’t stand up to Hedda at all, especially when it comes to money.
When Mrs. Elvsted brings news of Eilert, George is sent to the other room to write a long letter convincing the man in question to come visit.
Brack delivers the news that George will have to compete with Eilert for the professorship. George is upset at this and at the fact that his wife doesn’t seem to care.
Tesman comes back to the house with a stack of books and greets Hedda and the Judge. He admits that Eilert’s new book – the one that’s already been published – is very impressive.
Eilert shows up and discusses his next book, yet unpublished. George is relieved to hear that he won’t have to compete for the professor post.
George leaves Eilert alone with Hedda and retreats to the back room to have a drink with the Judge.
Tesman, Eilert, and Brack all go off to the stag party together.
Tesman comes back late the next morning to find that his wife hasn’t missed him and hasn’t been worried about him, either. He explains that Eilert was quite the partier the night before; he then shows her Eilert's manuscript.
When he gets the letter about Aunt Rina’s condition, he rushes off, leaving the manuscript behind with Hedda (bad call).
George comes back that evening; Miss Rina has died. He wants the manuscript from Hedda so he can give it back to Eilert.
When he finds out that his wife burned it on his behalf (or so he believes), George is overjoyed.
When the news of Eilert’s death surfaces, George commits the rest of his life to re-writing the man’s last book, with the help of Mrs. Elvsted, starting…right now. This annoys Hedda.
When he hears the pistol shot, George thinks that his wife is just messing around. Then he pulls back the curtains, sees her body, and exclaims that she has shot herself through the temple.