Essay on Character Analysis of Hedda in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler

Essay on Character Analysis of Hedda in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler

Length: 1659 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler introduces its audience to a paradoxical protagonist, Hedda Tesman. Ibsen’s delineation of Hedda presents her as a petty and frivolous woman whose sole motivation is to seek her own amusement with no regard to those around her. If some tragedy had befallen Hedda in her formative years and thus shaped her into the cold, callous woman she would become, Ibsen purposely omits this from this play: whatever judgment the audience might make of Hedda as a character must derive almost exclusively from the behaviors she exhibits in each of the work’s four acts. Ibsen does not intend for his audience to readily sympathize with Hedda. By not endearing Hedda to his audience, the subject of her suicide in the final act is made all the more baffling, surprising, and, incidentally, more interesting. By limiting the audience’s access to Hedda’s emotional development as a character, Ibsen is able to create a character infinitely more complex than one who merely succumbs to the overwhelming agony of a perpetually sorrowful life. Ibsen meant for the question as to why Hedda saw suicide as her only viable option to burn in the collective mind of his audience. To a less astute observer, Hedda’s suicide might be perceived as a senseless end to a senseless existence. A careful, thoughtful analysis of the play, however, reveals that a perfect storm of circumstances coalesce to create a climate in which Hedda is driven to her final act of desperation.
Throughout the play, Hedda exhibits a general dissatisfaction with life. By marrying a man whom she finds almost unbearably dull, Hedda resigns herself to a life of excruciating boredom. Her status as a general’s daughter had perhaps afforded her certain opportunities in her earl...

... middle of paper ...

...sadist. Hedda’s behavior toward Loevborg, who did nothing to deserve Hedda’s fatal influence, easily classifies as monstrous. Moreover, her vindictiveness toward Tesman, Thea, and even Miss Juliana as well as her harsh treatment of Bertha all serve to create a persona easily dismissed as wholly evil. Nevertheless, despite her trespasses against those around her, one must also consider the overwhelming powerlessness Hedda endured. Regardless of her gifts of keen perception and deft social maneuvering, the general’s daughter could hope to do little better for herself than marry an uninteresting scholar and embrace the role of motherhood whether she desired to be a mother or not. Lastly, the fact that the only moment of Hedda’s life in which she felt genuinely in control of her own destiny also sadly marked her final moment warrants at least some measure of compassion.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Character Analysis of Hedda from Henrik Ibesen's Hedda Gabler Essay

- Character Analysis of Hedda from Henrik Ibesen's Hedda Gabler Henrik Ibsen's play Hedda Gabler portrays the life of a young newlywed woman named Hedda and her attemps to overpower the people around her. Ibsen succsessfully depicts the very masculine traits that Hedda displays throughout the play with not wanting to conform to the feminine ways or the accepted stereotypes of her gender in her society. Hedda's marriage to her husband, Mr. Tesman, only increases her desire for power because it is a constant re- minder that she now "belongs" to Mr....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen Hedda Gabler Plays Essays]

Powerful Essays
1166 words (3.3 pages)

Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- During the 1890s, females were expected to accept the idea that men had more power in society (Spacks 155-156). Hedda Gabler is an example of a female character who deliberately refutes this idea, and does this in an unconventional way. Instead of attempting to gain power within society through politics or academic achievement, Hedda’s lust for power is satisfied by exerting control over the people around her. Tessman, Hedda’s husband, is defenseless to Hedda’s control throughout the play, however Hedda finds little enjoyment in controlling him (Spacks 157)....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Control]

Powerful Essays
1179 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen

- Hedda Gabler, the main character in Henrik Ibsen’s 1891 play titled Hedda Gabler, presents a unique role that many aspiring young actresses have been drawn to for decades. She was a woman before her time, her repellent personality can be argued as evil incarnated or simply due to a misunderstood and misplaced life. Regardless of the motives, it is no doubt that Hedda’s actions throughout the play are fascinatingly malevolent. This seemingly unmerciless character can be portrayed on the screen or stage in many styles because of her mysterious nature (Isherwood)....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Andreas Wilson]

Powerful Essays
2041 words (5.8 pages)

Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's ' Hedda Gabler ' Essay

- Hedda Gabler is the main character in Henrik Ibsen’s play, Hedda Gabler. This play is a drama written in the 1890’s, in Norway. Medea is also the main character of a play, Medea, written by Euripides. This play is a tragedy written in about 430 BC, ancient Greek, Athens. Hedda Gabler and Medea are both manipulative women who interfere with the lives of others; however, Hedda manipulates because of her desperation for freedom whereas Medea manipulates because of her desperation for revenge. Hedda does not care for the feelings of others....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Suicide]

Powerful Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- ‘Hedda Gabler’ is a play written by Norwegian writer Henrik Isben. Ibsen was born on March the 20th 1828 in Norway to a merchant father and a painter mother. After working as a pharmacist and then rejecting the idea of studying in University, Ibsen turned to writing. His first few pieces did not do too well, but a lot of his later plays were a huge success, in particular ‘A Doll’s House’ (1879) and of course, ‘Hedda Gabler’ (1890). Hedda Gabler is the story about a woman named Hedda who is ultimately trapped in a loveless and meaningful marriage....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Woman, KILL]

Powerful Essays
2078 words (5.9 pages)

Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Essay

- Everyone has faults, some people are greedy, some don’t know how to use manners, and others neglect a person’s feeling all together. Most of the time people just have one “fault” that they try to get better at. In Hedda’s case, she has all three problems but she encourages them instead of trying to learn to control them. In the play Hedda Gabler the author Henrik Ibsen shows that Hedda’s ill-behaved manners, greed for power and lack of emotional understanding of others will come back and bite her in the butt....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Emotion, Feeling]

Powerful Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Henrik Ibsen 's Hedda Gabler

- Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler challenges feminine stereotypes through following the life of Hedda, who longs to find excitement in her mundane marriage. After her recent marriage to Tesman, Hedda returns to her new home only to hate its lackluster appearance, which corresponds to her disappointment in her new husband. Marriage traps Hedda in a world where she has little to do besides entertain guests, who she quickly manipulates to satisfy her own self interest. However, as her trickery progresses, Hedda loses control of other characters, and attempts to redeem herself through the use of pistols....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, Hedda Gabler, Woman, Handgun]

Powerful Essays
747 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Henrik Ibsen 's ' Hedda Gabler '

- The first snowfall signals the true arrival of the winter season in the Canadian tundra and woodland. A gray wolf sets out on a hunting expedition in the fresh, brisk air of the morning. A young, innocent bison, has been separated from its herd, it will soon be killed. In the eye’s of an unaware onlooker, the act is pure evil; that little bison did not deserve to die; however, the wolf is a mother and has hungry pups to feed. The pups would otherwise starve to death if she didn’t go hunting. Hedda Gabler is that wolf in Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler....   [tags: Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen, Marriage, Love]

Powerful Essays
1086 words (3.1 pages)

Hedda Gabler’s Freedom and Repression as Understood through the Analysis of a Key Passage

- This passage from the denouement Henrik Ibsen’s play, Hedda Gabler, before Hedda’s suicide, is an illustration of the vulnerability and defeat of the impetuous and manipulative titular character. Ibsen develops Hedda’s character by uncovering details about the conflicts between Hedda and the other characters, Judge Brack, Mrs Elvsted, and George Tesman which highlight Hedda’s transformation from an individualistic to despairing individual, conveying the theme of freedom and repression in society....   [tags: Henrik Ibsen, Character Symbolism]

Powerful Essays
1293 words (3.7 pages)

Analyzing Ibsen's Character, Hedda Gabler Essay

- Henrik Ibsen's character, Hedda Gabler, is a woman who is torn between her desires and the expectations required of someone of her social standing. At the onset of the play, Hedda has been married for six months, but she still clings to her maiden name, as evident in the title of the play, “Hedda Gabler.” Her reluctance at accepting her new name is symbolic of her dissatisfaction of being married; she misses the freedom of being single, while at the same time longs to be married to an aristocrat, to someone who is more important in society than her husband is....   [tags: Character Analysis, Analytical Essay]

Powerful Essays
856 words (2.4 pages)