Johannes Rosmer, the owner of Rosmersholm, is the last of a long and influencial line of clergy, officers and senior civil servants. Formerly a vicar, he has resigned from office. The play opens one year after the suicide of Rosmer's wife, Beata. Rebecca had previously moved into the family home, Rosmersholm, as a friend of Beata, and she lives there still. It becomes plain that she and Rosmer are in love, but he insists throughout the play that their relationship is completely platonic.