Hedda marries Tesman, who expects to get an important job at the university. They get back from from their honeymood to find that Eilert Lovberg (Hedda's old flame) is after the same job. Hedda turned Lovberg down because he was a heavy drinker and his prospects looked bad. But now he has reformed. Lovberg loses the manuscript of his book, which comes into Hedda's hands, and she advises Lovberg to kill himself. Then Judge Brack tries to blackmail Hedda into going to bed with him. So Hedda is newly married to Tesman, whom she doesn't love at all, threatened by Brack, whom she detests, and the destroyer of the man she did love. What next?