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Hedda Gabler is the play authored by Henrik Ibsen about a favorite daughter of the general who spoiled her, but it seems that he did not leave a decent legacy. For a woman of that time and that society, there were only three roles: a marriageable girl, wife, and mother, or an old maid, if you were not lucky. And the path to society lies only through men, and this situation does not suit the young Hedda at all. She is young and beautiful, and she has many admirers, but she is in no hurry to get married: there is only a cage of pregnancy and motherhood waiting for her, as she imagines. And she wants a bright life, passions, emotions, and fireworks, and she is used to getting what she wants. Just a day in the house of the young spouse Tesman and the tragedy that they do not stop talking about.
The Story and Main Characters Analysis
A strong, exciting, and incredibly dramatic play about the responsibility that sooner or later falls on all of us. It is hard to make decisions, but it is even harder to accept the consequences of one’s decisions. There are no happy people in this work, envy, betrayal, hypocrisy, indifference, and connivance, the list of sins of heroes can go on and on. No one in the play truly appreciates themselves. For example, Hedda, a pretty young girl of 29, marries almost the first man she meets, George Tesman. Hedda has absolutely no feelings for him, which leads her to certain unpleasant results. Thea, another equally pretty girl, who is 27 years old, marries an unloved man, who is 47, so as not to be alone too (Ibsen). Apparently, one of the themes of the play is the fear to remain alone, which results in an unhappy marriage. This eventually turns ironic as such a marriage brings only loneliness.
Hedda is a woman who dreams of lofty feelings and decisive actions but is surrounded entirely by "funny and vulgar" or an envious intriguer who married for an incomprehensible calculation. At first, it seemed that the calculation was correct, but the joint family life quickly convinced me otherwise. Hedda knows how to pretend and deceive, but it is felt that she does not like it and she is ready to break loose every minute to throw the truth in her face. She is annoyed by ordinary people and uncomplicated relationships, and her desire to burn, and kill, suggests a mental disorder. It is terrible to fall into disgrace with such people because the threats that Thea was subjected to in her youth were replaced by an offer of friendship, which was no less frightening (Gunn). The boredom and general unhappiness with one’s marriage and love life can lead to rather unpleasant consequences and even make the situation worse.
Finally, the years go by, her father is dead, and she needs to choose a new home and she chooses Jorgen Tesman. He is an orphan raised by his aunts, she thinks he will be easy to control and arrange their home to her pleasure. But it does not work out, and there is not enough money, and her husband's career is also under threat and unbearably boring (Ibsen). Traditional female occupations do not attract her, and she has no others, so she has to play with what is at hand, the people around her.
Hedda will love her for the same man. Eilert, a rake, a man with a dark past, stirs the hearts of respectable young ladies. And when two women come together in a fight for the heart of their beloved, it is useless to wait for a happy ending. In a small piquant detail, the heroine of the play, this fatal beauty, inherited 2 revolvers from her uncle (Ibsen). And as the reader might know very well from the classics, a gun hanging on the wall will definitely shoot. Hedda’s tragic end only supports Ibsen’s notion about the fear of loneliness that eventually, through intrigues and trauma, might lead one to the bottom of their life.
Henrik Ibsen is a master of portraying the intensity of passions, because even without knowing the path of the plot, from the very first scene you fall under the influence of forebodings. Alertness and anticipation of the tragedy do not leave until the end of the play, and the presence of pistols (it is worth remembering Chekhov) strengthens the suspicion that this story will not end well. Men can have fun in many ways, feasts and scientific research, all kinds of activities are available to them, and a woman can only listen to hints about their world. But playing with fire is dangerous, and for an experienced player there will always be other even more experienced ones, and after losing, Hedda takes the last decisive step.
Gunn, Olivia N. "Leaving The Theatre Of Suffering: Two Endings—And A Color-Conscious Future?—For Hedda Gabler". Theatre Journal, vol 73, no. 2, 2021, pp. 189-207. Project Muse, https://doi.org/10.1353/tj.2021.0041. Accessed 8 May 2022.
Ibsen, Henrik. "Hedda Gabler". Project Gutenberg, 2013, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4093/4093-h/4093-h.htm.
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