Freud and Hedda Gabler: The Wolf Behind the Protagonist

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From its very creation until now; civilization has been at odds with the fundamental human instinct. While civilization is just a mechanism used to control the human instinct and place an order so a broader society can function; the basic human is far from controlled. Sigmund Freud in ‘From Civilizations and Its discontents’ suggest that nothing can really control human instinct but rather deter it from its ‘homo homini lupus’(Freud, 1697) nature which translates into man is a wolf to man. This ‘homo homini lupus’ form of instinct suggest a more aggressive side of humans with the tendencies of not interacting with people but merely using people. Henrik Ibsen, through his use of the character Hedda Gabler, illustrates Sigmund Freud’s homo…show more content…
Hedda is unhappy about this because of her past relationship with Lovborg, where she was madly in love with his rebellion against society and the freedom his life displayed. Hedda uses two methods in order to pull Lovborg back into the circle of societal exclusion where ennui and unhappiness is fulfilled. These drastic methods in order to pull someone from the conformity of society is defined in Freud’s work when he states “as a rule this cruel aggression waits…for circumstances that are favorable to it” (Freud 1697). This suggesting that once an individual has an opportunity or the upper hand one will proceed to exhibit that aggressiveness even if it’s not through direct aggression. The first method is persuading Lovborg to regain the vine leaves in his hair by convincing him to begin drinking once again. The second method was withholding the manuscript from him when he came to her in confidence about it and allowing him the gun in order for him to die in beauty. Therefore, Hedda uses a circumstance and exhibits her aggression through treachery to achieve the outcome of Eilert Lovborg’s suicide where she soon follows suit. The suicide of Eilert Lovborg and Hedda Gabler are not random and unexpected at least to the characters who apply. In fact, the suicide of Hedda and Lovborg is just another form of homo homini lupus only combined with the overall theme of Henrik Ibsen. The theme of defying

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