A brutal mix of manipulation, affairs, fear, and death, the play Hedda Gabler is a fine example of unhappiness in marriage and self. The author, Henrik Ibsen, creates a scenario which highlights the faults of his main character, Hedda Tesman, showing the audience where her true priorities lie. Throughout the play Hedda's character begins to regress, obsessively trying to gain control over those around her by plotting characters against each other and skillfully manipulating them. Devolving into a caged manic when she is unable to get her ways, she becomes trapped in a marriage that brings out her worst attributes. Ibsen brings about Heddas instability slowly, using character Judge Brack to show how an already unhappy woman can become a ticking bomb under marital restrictions. Putting her into more and more precarious situations , until, inevitably, she explodes. Ibsen's use of literary foils highlights Heddas weaknesses, revealing her true nature of cowardice. Building to her ultimate demise, brought about between the collision of [her lack of] control and fear. As in trying to gain control of others, you’ll lose control of yourself. Hedda Tesman has many visitors over the couple of days that we see of her life, but a frequent visitor that leaves a lasting impression is Judge Brack; an older man that is held with high respects by all. He has power in the community and is able to pass through people’s lives without much talk, judging those who he saw fit to judge. His
Judge Brack is introduced into Hedda Gabler as a man of authority, which allows him to able to aid George Tesman and act as his financial planner. As a great help to Tesman and Hedda, the couple “can’t thank you [Judge Brack] sufficiently” in expressing their gratitude and the great help that Brack is, being a man of power (Ibsen 20). By lending a hand to George and Hedda, this exploits the friendship between the three characters. If Judge Brack was not a friend to the couple, then he would not assist them in their accumulating debt. It is shown that Judge Brack does help George regarding his financial needs even when they are involved with Eilert Lövborg, the professor. Although Hedda does acknowledge Brack’s effort in improving her and her husband’s financial situation by
Many of Ibsen's plays contain criticism regarding marriage, which portrays a dominant and complex female character that are generally trapped in unhappy and unsatisfied marriages due to the Victorian era traditions (Richard Chang and Richkie Chiu). Hedda Gabler (1890) is one of his well known plays, that contains a family's character with that role. Hedda plays the role of the primary female character, she struggles to find her spot in her new life, and adjusting to her dominant side, due to that she will never become
To start the book, we find that a young woman has committed adultery and when standing in front of a mocking crowd, she is ashamed of her actions. Continuing through the book we find that the adulteress, Hester Prynne, displays many examples of positive outcomes arising from negative situations. She becomes more and more aware of the faults of society and becomes wiser as she deals with the consequences of her actions. Even though Hester made a terrible decision that came with many extremely negative effects, she gained personality traits, perceptions, and people that rose from her mistake.
Torvald would never have thought she were capable of it, since during that era it was unrealistic of women to leave their houses but rather put up with the difficulties they faced. Ibsen highlights society's domineering outlooks of marriage and the interactions of two people naïvely pretending to be in love. Throughout the play Ibsen reveals the fragile attributes of his characters to help enhance the play-like nature of their relationship, the role of women, and Nora's course of self-discovery.
One of the three protagonists, Hester Prynne, a naturally dignified women who engages in a love affair, portrays behaviors driven by her id, or the very first part of one’s personality. From the moment Hester marries Chillingworth, “[she] felt no love, nor feigned any” stating that she longs for real love, which is later fulfilled by Dimmesdale
If any sexual advances are made towards her, Hedda uses her father’s guns to gain control over the situation that she is trapped in. Hedda wants to have the power that men have and in order to obtain it, she has to be a man herself. Her father’s pistols, among the few stage props from the play, are a phallic symbol and by holding that pistol she believes she can become the sexual aggressor rather than the victim. The use of pistols characterizes Hedda as a violent, masculine and dangerous woman. As seen at the end of Act 1, Hedda says “Well, atleast I have one thing left to amuse myself with...my pistols”(247).
The desire for power is the main driving force for many characters. A power struggle is a common recurring event in literature, whether it is a character trying to escape someone else’s power, gain power for themselves, or both. In Hedda Gabler, the main character, Hedda struggles with having power over others and her position in society. Hedda has not only a struggle manipulating those around her, but also trying to free herself of those that try to “own” her.
While Puritan women are weak and dependent upon their husbands, Hester Prynne is empowered and self-reliant. A character designed by Hawthorne to show 19th century women that women’s work could be valuable, Hester supports herself and her daughter by needlework. “For, as the novel unfolds, the letter, intended by the Authorities to signify harsh but just condemnation, is made by Hester to signify something entirely different—able, admirable.” (Bell 109) All aspects considered, the ability of Hester, a woman who committed sin and was publicly punished for this crime, to manipulate this punishment into a virtue
The judicious actions foreshadow disaster. Having no control over their relationship, she maximizes this opportunity of diverting his life. Although she is conservative, she also tries pushing the boundaries by continually being discontented, as opposed to what is expected of women during that era, and thus she is a victim of society. Her curiosity towards the outside world is a result of her being trapped indoors and explains her jealousy towards Lövborg, Thea or anybody who has freedom. Hedda withholds and controls her emotions; nonetheless this gives the audience an impression that she is mysterious and secretive.
Hedda tears down everyone throughout the play, with Lövborg and Brack as the only exception. After being born to a high standing family, her expectations of power are high, but due to her biologic form as a woman she is trapped and unable to take control, “because Hedda has been imprisoned since girlhood by the bars of Victorian propriety, her emotional life has grown turbulent and explosive” (Embler). However, after succumbing to marriage with Tesman, whom she only marries for money and respect, she loses her place in society as she, as a mere woman, cannot retain it. This slowly unwinds Hedda and eventually leads her on to her fatal path. By
Hedda arouses sympathy from the readers through her own personal conflicts. She is a woman trapped by herself in a loveless marriage to an “ingenuous creature” (52 Ibsen) named George Tesman. Tesman is a simple soul with very little to offer. Not only is he an entire social class below Hedda, but he is oblivious, insecure due to his own banalities, and overly reliant on his Aunts’, despite being thirty-three-years-old. Hedda married George due to a “bond of sympathy. . .” (31 Ibsen) formed between them and she “took pity. . .” (31 Ibsen) on George. This brings a sense of sincerity to Hedda that was not turned to such a high magnitude preceding this discussion between Judge Brack and herself. Hedda is a lonely, yet independent, soul that wants sexual freedom without
Ibsen uses the relationship and conflict between Hedda and Brack to illustrate Hedda’s struggle to assert her free will and power in a male-dominated society. The two characters are united as social equals who are members of the aristocracy as
Hedda has been interpreted as an “unreal, as a defective woman, as vicious and manipulative in nature, as a failed New Woman, or as a woman who is afraid of sex” (Björklund 1). She also could be seen as a woman who is afraid of sex or her own sexuality because homosexuality wasn’t accepted like it is today. According to Björklund, “Hedda’s masculinity defeats the dysfunctional masculinities of Tesman and Lovborg, but, in the bathe with Brack’s hegemonic masculinity, Hedda’s female masculinity becomes absorbed into the dominant structures. Hedda desires masculinity as represented by Brack—power and control—but, in the end, that masculinity is what kills her; she shoots herself with one of her father’s pistols, and her masculinity is absorbed into the patriarchy. Hedda’s masculinity is rejected, but what it represents—power and control—is mirrored by Brack, whose masculinity is reconstructed: he is the one cock of the walk” (Björklund
Hedda Gabler is a text in which jealousy and envy drive a woman to manipulate and attempt to control everyone in her life. The protagonist, Hedda, shows her jealousy in her interactions with the other characters in the play, particularly with Eilert Loveborg and Thea Elvsted. Because Hedda is unable to get what she wants out of life because of her gender and during the time of the play, her age, she resorts to bringing everyone else down around her. Hedda lets her jealousy get the best of her and because of this she hurts many of the people around her as well as ultimately hurting herself.
Even after her success of scandals, Hedda realizes that Judge Brack is still the one, who holds the upper hand in all affairs, and to express her “freedom” or at least want for freedom, she states “I am exceedingly glad to think—that you have no sort of hold over me” (p. 55). Her words foreshadow the ending of the play as it prepares the audience for unexpected and uncontrolled actions taken by Hedda. Furthermore, the ultimate outcome of her actions is Tesmun and Thea working together to re-create the manuscript, which Hedda was unprepared for. Tesmun and Thea take over her last place of comfort, as she removes her belongings from the drawing room and the writing