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

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

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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. Tesman which Hedda resents. Hedda considers her life

to be boring and finds solace in playing with her father's pistols, which is considered not a thing

for a young lady to do and a very inappropriate form of entertainment for a woman. Hedda is a

person that displays characteristics of masculinity and jealousy, and is shown to be very

unconcerned about the fellings of others she may incounter.

The play begins with Miss. Tesman, Mr. Tesman's Aunt, greeting her nephew after his

six month wedding-tour. They speak briefly about his journey, and Miss. Tesman comments

several times about his new beautiful wife and how lucky he is to have been the one that was

choosen out of all her other suitors to carry off the lovely Hedda Gabler. Soon after Hedda

enters the room, she has already insulted Tesman's Aunt by implying that her bonnet is the

servants: Hedda-"Look there! She has left her old bonnet lying on the chair" Tesman-"But

Hedda, thats aunt Julia's bonnet" Miss Tesman-"Yes, indeed it's mine. And, what's more it's

not old, Madam Hedda" (Act I). Hedda again shows her disconcern when her husband tries

to show her the slippers that his aunt has made for him as a gift: Hedda- "Thanks, I really

don't care about it" Tesman- "Only think-as ill as she was, Aunt Rina embroidered these for me.

Oh you can't think of how many associations cling to them" Hedda - "Scarcely for me"(Act I).

Hedda pretends to befriend Mrs. Thea Elvsted ( a schoolmate from her youth) in order to

solicit her confidence about her situation with an old friend of Mr.Tesman and an old flame of

hers, Eilert Lovborg, who was a drunk back in the day, but has cleaned up his act and has


... middle of paper ...

... manuscript and burns it, thus destroying Lovborg and Thea's work and altamitly their

relationship. Lovborg arrives at the Tesman house where Thea has stayed the night. He

lies and tells her that he has torn the manuscript into pieces because he has torn his own

life into pieces, after hearing this Thea, in a state of dispare, leaves the house. Once alone

with Hedda, Lovborg confesses that he has lost the Manuscript, but could not bring himself

to tell Thea because her pure soul was in that book. As he begins to leave, Hedda gives

him one of her pistols as a "momento" and tells him to do it beautifully, as though she knew

he felt he had nothing to live for. Brack arrived later that day with the news that Lovborg was

dead, and that he still had the pistol on him when he was found, and that he knew it was one

of Hedda's pistols. He tells her that she would be able to avoid scandal only if he did not tell the

police he knew who the gun belonged to, but that meant being in his power, at his beck and call,

his slave, and that is something Hedda just could not live with, so she excuses herself, goes in

the next room and shoots herself dead.

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