Literary Review: Hedda Gabler Essay

2674 Words 11 Pages
Title: Hedda Gabler
Author: Henrik Ibsen
Setting: Un-named city in Norway (probably Christiania - the Norwegian capital then)
Time Period: 1890

Major Characters

Hedda Gabler - (married name: Hedda Tesman) Daughter of an aristocratic general who spoiled her. She’s used to a life of luxury in which she gets anything she wants. She is bored with her life because there’s nothing new for her to see or experience. She marries George Tesman so that she won’t be an oddball in society. She’s nearly thirty and realizes that she’s not getting any younger or desirable. He’s the only one of her suitors who grovels for her hand in marriage, so she chooses him. She immediately sees that she will be able to manipulate him into giving her anything she
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When he realizes she provides Eilert with the medium for his suicide, he blackmails her into becoming his mistress in exchange for protection from scandal.

Eilert Lovborg - a recovered alcoholic who escaped scandal through the release of a book which received great reviews. He also writes an insightful book about the future which he and Mrs. Elvsted refer to as their child. He was the confidant of young Hedda Gabler who craved knowledge of a life other than the one she was accustomed to. He’s another victim of Hedda’s manipulation, but unlike George, he realizes that she has a certain power over him. He is driven to drinking excessively once again by Hedda, and ends up killing himself when he loses his treasured “child” (the manuscript), on account of his carelessness after being intoxicated.

Mrs. Elvsted - convinced her husband to hire Eilert Lovborg to tutor her stepchildren. She grew attached to him and served as his personal secretary, helping him with research and writing two books. She follows him to the city, without her husband’s knowledge, for fear he will become an alcoholic once again. She is kind and gentle-hearted, but not especially good at standing up for herself. When Hedda drives Eilert to have a drink, she doesn’t do all she could to try and stop him from taking it. She lets him go to Brack’s party without much objection. There’s also the fact that no one knows of her real situation with Eilert except for…

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