Analysis of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

1231 WordsJun 17, 20185 Pages
The unmistakable dominance of men during the nineteenth century is an influential factor in the establishment of the central theme of Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler. Due to Hedda’s lack of independence, she develops a strong desire for control. The direct relationship between Hedda’s marriage with George and her sly, manipulative characteristics is manifested by Ibsen during the work. Ibsen also exposes weakness in Mrs. Elvsted through her dependability on various male characters for fulfillment in life. How do expectations of gender roles in the nineteenth century affect plot scheme and develop a theme of male dominance in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler? Deeper insight to this connection may be formed from the analysis of various…show more content…
Elvsted share for each other. The loss of the manuscript, after Hedda destroys it in a fit of raging jealousy, signifies the death of Eilert and Mrs. Elvsted’s child, as well as their relationship. The catastrophe is too much for Eilert to handle, and Mrs. Elvsted fails to offer a voice of comfort. Consequently, he takes his own life and destroys Mrs. Elvsted’s hope for the future. Her dependency on her first husband for financial support and then on her true love, Lövborg, for a sensation of self-worth reflects the view of women’s helplessness during the nineteenth century. The static character traits displayed through Mrs. Elvsted’s constant reliance on male figures also illustrate the lack of progress being made by women of the time. Ibsen’s creation of female inferiority through Mrs. Elvsted’s failure of independence supports the preconceived notion of male dominance. In addition, the shy personality traits given to Mrs. Elvsted effectively create a timid female character with weaknesses regarding self-esteem. The submissive statements from Mrs. Elvsted’s conversations with other characters exploit these weaknesses and allow other characters, such as Hedda, to take advantage of them. Consequently, these opportunities for manipulation dictate Hedda’s actions and also the scheme of the plot. Commonly accepted terms representing informality and casualty to a person are used more
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