Serebryakov, a retired professor and his beautiful, much younger second wife, Yeléna, visit their country estate, which funds their urban lifestyle. Vanya, brother of the Professor's first wife, who manages the farm estate, and the local Doctor Astrov, both fall under Yelena's spell, while complaining of the endless ennui of their provincial existence. Astrov is an experienced physician who performs his job conscientiously, but has lost all idealism and spends much of his time drinking. Sofya, the Professor's daughter by his first wife, who works to keep the estate going with her uncle Vanya, meanwhile suffers from lack of esteem over what she sees as her own lack of beauty, and from an unrequited love for Dr. Astrov. Matters are brought to a head when the Professor announces his intention to sell the estate, Vanya and Sofya's home, to achieve a higher income for himself and his wife.