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Hedda Gabler

The Play Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen Research Paper

This research paper is compares relationships in Henrik Ibsen's play Hedda Gabler. The essay should center on the main characters and their troubles. Hedda in "Hedda Gabler" is a more complicated character. Whereas Nora is deluded, Hedda is repressed. She is bored and frustrated by her husband's lack of interest in her in favor of his scholarly studies. Hedda is left mostly to her own resources. She misuses these resources, however; and as a result, she gets herself into a situation where she sees suicide as the only means for escape.

But Hedda will not be accepted in a man's world. Her husband's lack of interest in her as he is absorbed in his studies signifies how she will be forever excluded from the world of men. Yet Hedda manages to use one of the pair of pistols given to her by her father to enter into the world of men to some extent. When Lovberg, who had once been in love with Hedda, believes that he lost the manuscript of his book, he is so despondent that he tells Hedda he intends to take his life. Hedda appears to sympathize with him, and she gives him one of her father's pistols to use for his suicide. Hedda tells him that he can die a beautiful and romantic death if he kills himself using one of her father's attractive pistols.

Hedda's suicide is obviously self-destructive. Ibsen depicts women with distinct personalities and feelings in circumstances which are still created almost completely by men. Therefore, Hedda has to take extreme actions to try to escape from their circumstances. At the time the plays were written--about 1880--women had not made any substantial progress.

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