Essay on Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen

Essay on Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen

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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).
It is one thing for a person to make a mistake, and then there are Hedda’s actions which are something else entirely. Yes it can be argued there were direct causes behind some of her wickedness, but from beginning to end, she presented almost zero positive attributes to counteract this behavior. Hedda Gabler represents evil personified and is an anti-heroine for the ages.
The play starts with Hedda and George Tesman just returning from their honeymoon. We discover through George’s dialogue with his Aunt Julia, that the trip was anything but passionate. Instead, George only speaks about his days in the library gathering various research materials. It is during this opening sequence we begin to understand there is not much true love to be found between Hedda and George. As Hedda enters the room, she does so with a bored and distasteful attitude. Her appearance seems to contradict the upbeat and cheerful exchanges between George and his aunt. George tries to soften the mood some by hinting towards Hedda’s pregnancy and Aunt Julia rejoices. Hedda, in her distinctly cold natured way, brushes this off while also complaining about Aunt Julia’s bonnet she has just d...


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...er being such a draw for talented actresses. Displaying such evil and the complex motives behind it all takes a very unique skill set. When the play premiered in Germany in 1891, it received many critical reviews, but has subsequently garnered recognition and become a classic drama. Famous Broadway interpretations have been portrayed by Minnie Maddern Fiske, Alla Nazimova and Eva Le Gallienne in the 1920s. Glenda Jackson conveyed Hedda on the big screen in 1975, and Annette Bening took it to DVD about a decade ago. However, it has not proven easy to illustrate the roots of Hedda’s pathology. In fact, another astonishing aspect of Hedda is how reliably her character is obscured by even the most formidable of actresses. Every actress with the right amount of propensity and arrogance wants to play Hedda, but relatively few actually manage to pull it off (Isherwood).

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