The setting in Hedda Gabler is unchanged, and that contributes to the fact that it is a psychological drama. This means that Hedda Gabler was staged in one area, and the only changing factors were the characters and the interactions they had with one another. Also, the fact that the household was a clear example of the randomness of the wedding's occurrence and proof that there is no love between Tesman and Hedda.
The setting takes place in Norway in 1800's and is constantly in the sitting room of the Tesman household.Also, the play takes place in autumn, and this is mentioned in the beginning of the play. This tells the reader that it is a season of death, and this foreshadows the death and decay of nature and the environment, clearly foreshadowing future death and decay within the play and its events. This is proven true later in th...
e play, because the theme of death and decay is very apparent. Also, the unchanging setting gives the play a sense of continuity and a feeling of unchanging surroundings which puts all the focus on the play on the events that occur. This also proves how much Henrik Ibsen cares about the little details within his plays including the stage directions and dialogue between characters.2. Use of stage directions and their importance (What, specifically, do they reveal? How does the writer use them?)In the play, Ibsen's stage directions are very detailed in showing character's emotions, revealing a character's social status (in particular revealing the social disparity between certain characters), describing physical characteristics, and also identifying characters' placement and movements.
Ibsen's stage directions are especially descriptive of
characters' emotions and physical appearances (in particular in their introductions in the play), as they contribute to describing various contrasting features between the characters and also to the themes of the play. The stage directions basically form the physical and psychological characterization. The placement and movements of characters as revealed through the stage directions is important as they reveal the character's emotions, and at times contribute to the play's dramatic irony. Ibsen uses his detailed stage directions to contribute to the irony and suspense of the play as they describe the true motives and feelings of characters.3. Style of playThe endings of each of the acts are marginally more dramatic than the previous. These dramatic endings serve to show a clear aspect of Ibsen's style in writing. These endings help the reader to connect to the play and feel more inclined towards reading the next act and the following acts.
Also, considering the fact that the play is a short one, these chapter endings serve to draw the reader into a state in which he or she does not want to stop reading, a further enhances the feeling of continuity that is contributed to by the unchanging scene. In this way, the reader continues to read the play in a more continuous fashion, and feels the mood of the play more realistically.There is a lot of literary ambiguity in the play as well. The play is very ambiguous in the beginning, and all the facts that surround Hedda's pregnancy and her past are ambiguous at first, and she continuous to be an enigma throughout the play. Only the very obvious becomes known about Hedda, however
generally she is not a very clear character. On the other hand, characters like Tesman are clear and opaque and can be read and understood from the beginning because it seems to be that Ibsen wants the reader to see this aspect of Tesman's character e.g.: obtuse, stupid, etc.
The play's style is very unique and it contributes to the idea that the play is a psychological drama. This fact tells us that every aspect of the novel and every word is significant, and this can clearly be seen by the detailed and highly important stage directions that are available at the beginning of each act. Also, throughout the play, Ibsen uses Hedda to manipulate the surroundings within the Tesman Sitting Room, and this helps add to the tension, or suspense, or manipulation that Ibsen cleverly weaves into his writing. However overall, the play can be seen as four acts that have not one wasted word within them, as Ibsen focuses very expertly on everything that is uttered by every character, and every single stage direction that is handled by the actors within the play greatly contributing to the overall psychological aspects that Ibsen focuses on within his plays.4. Structure (and its importance). How is suspense built?The play is composed of four acts. These acts mark divisions in time over a period of approximately two days.
Each act ending becomes more dramatic and suspenseful where each act reaches a climactic moment when something decisive or irreversible is said or done. For example, Act 2 ends with Hedda forcefully grabbing and dragging Mrs. Elvsted by her hair towards the doorway, while the ending of the subsequent act
ends with Hedda burning Eilert Lï¿½vborg and Thea's manuscript. The suspense is built as each act ends in rising action that takes the play to a new level of tension. It is also noteworthy how the end of the play, where Hedda commits suicide, is also the climax of the play.5. Characterization - major, detailed analysis of ALL characters in the play and their importance - Are the characters symbolic in any way?Hedda Gabler: Hedda is the main protagonist and can also be seen as the main antagonist. This is significant because different readers choose to see Hedda in different ways: either the victim or the manipulator.
She can be seen in both lights simply because she is a woman trapped in a man's body, and the man is a manipulative corrupt character. In any case, she can be seen as both things combined. Another reason for which she is a victim is that society expects a lot from a woman of her social standing, and so she is required to do things and to refrain from doing other things simply because of what society expects of her. This also includes the predetermined role that women must play in society and the unchanging fact that Hedda would be a successful human had she been a man. Hedda Gabler is a very specific character: she wants to mould a human destiny, however she greatly fears scandals. These two aspects of her personality allow her to create the bulk of the play's plot.George Tesman: An uncreative character who is good at only one thing: research. He is an obtuse person who becomes a very clear annoyance to
The dialogue he is given throughout the play shows his close mindedness and how annoying a character he can be. He is also a boring academic, and has been protected by his aunts for the bulk of his life. Miss Tesman is very protective of Tesman, and so is Berta. They all seem to have their lives surrounding taking care of and cradling someone which in this case is George. Also, Tesman is a complete opposite to Hedda, as he cares about things that Hedda simply doesn't. Also, it is significant to note that Hedda and Tesman got married over a technicality in which Tesman assumed that owning Tesman's Villa would make Hedda happy.Thea Elvsted: Thea is a slightly naï¿½ve character, or has been one in the past. Her actions show this, and her actions also prove her to be a foil to Hedda.
This is mainly because she has courage, a trait clearly missing in Hedda's character. She proves her courage when she runs away from her husband; her courage also constantly makes Hedda jealous. Also, Thea had a significant influence on creating the manuscript which was called the "child" of Thea and Lï¿½vborg, and so the two characters share a connection that Hedda does not. Also, Thea and Tesman share the job of recreating the manuscript, and without any effort Thea moulds a human destiny. This causes Hedda to be even more jealous and is a contributing factor in Hedda's suicide.Judge Brack: Brack is a well connected judge. He is seen as a respected man in society and also adheres to society's rules and the expectations that Hedda must follow. However, since
Brack is a male, he is able to accomplish much more in his life.
This is seen by his constant yearning for the love triangle between Tesman Hedda and Brack. His ability to confront the situation shows how corrupt an individual he is, and how different life is for males in this society simply because it is a society built for and run by males. He also blackmails Hedda in the end of the play, and is a very significant factor in her suicide. He can be seen as a foil to Hedda and is of a very high social status.Eilert Lï¿½vborg: Lï¿½vborg is Tesman's biggest competitor in the world of writing. Lï¿½vborg is creative, ingenious, and romantic: everything Tesman is not. He has also lead a reckless life and his ending is a testament to his debauchery and his attitude towards life throughout his time spent drinking and doing everything that Hedda wishes she could do. He is a symbol of Hedda's failure to control a human and he can be considered the quintessential character who portrays courage in the play.
Lï¿½vborg is a generally scandalous character, and the most important part about him is that he forged a relationship with both Hedda and Thea, and made a stronger connection to Thea due to her courage and creativity. Also, the metaphorical "child" they created together serves to be a point of friction within Hedda's life, and this can be seen in Act II, where Hedda burns the manuscript and takes great joy in killing this metaphorical "child".6. Plot and its importance or lack of importance - notice the progression of plotThe play's plot becomes
more dramatic as it progresses, as seen by the suspenseful act endings. The main focus of the play at the beginning is Hedda Gabler and George Tesman's marriage, but as the plot progresses the focus shifts more on to Hedda and her interactions with other characters such as like Judge Brack and Eilert Lï¿½vborg. Apart from Act 1, the plot focuses on Hedda as any significant action is enticed or involves her, while Tesman becomes more of a secondary character. Hedda's prominence in the plot's progression is clearly seen as the four most dramatic scenes that almost define the play (four chapter endings) all include Hedda as the main character. Hedda's actions become the main plot, and as Hedda's actions become more significant and dramatic, so does the plot which finally contributes to plot progression.
7. Mood of the play - any changes - How is the mood achievedThe mood of the play starts out with a "matter of fact" mood, and continues on to escalate to an extremely tense threatening and suspenseful mood. This is achieved solely by the chapter endings and then, as the play approaches Act 4, the tension begins to rise and escalate rapidly. As the play is staged in one constant unchanging setting, the mood continues to be apparent. In the beginning, there is very little substance in the plot, so the mood is unclear. However as the play continues on, and the acts begin to pass, the mood begins to escalate to a practically exclamatory one, and at every turn a new plot twist occurs greatly increasing the tension that is apparent in the mood. As characters begin to die,
and as Hedda starts to manipulate Lï¿½vborg and Thea the suspense increases. However the climax of the play is clear when Hedda kills herself and the mood has escalated to the most intense point in the play, which is the clear change from one of suspense to one of awe, shock, and intensity.
8. Themes and motifs (Is there any social criticism?)Individuality versus Conformity: This theme can be applied to the five major characters in the novel, creating two groups between them. Individuality is represented by Eilert Lï¿½vborg, Thea Elvsted and towards the end of the play by George Tesman, while conformity is represented by Hedda Gabler and George Tesman. Individuality in the play can be characterized by the breaking of social norms, like that of Thea Elvsted's actions. Thea is an individualist. She runs away from her marriage, which for that time period is considered taboo. She performs this act for her own good, rather than acting under social conformities. Lï¿½vborg falls under the category of an individualist as well since his creative writing about the future does not conform to the usual writing of the past.
Moreover, Lï¿½vborg's nights of debauchery are a further example of his individuality, as he does not care what society thinks of him. Tesman can also be considered an individualist as in the end of the play he dedicates his life to the reconstruction of Thea and Lï¿½vborg's manuscript and deviates from his original path. On the other hand, Judge Brack and Hedda Gabler are conformists who abide by society's expectations. Judge Brack, an upholder of the law, can be identified as a conformist as when he comments on
Hedda's suicide as "...people don't do such things", accentuates society's thoughts. Instead of showing grief over such an act, Brack's immediate reaction is on the social aspect and repercussions of the suicide.
Hedda's conformity to society is identified through her fear of scandal. Although Hedda has no problem in hearing about scandal, her fear of it spurns from society's expectations of women which makes her abide by social norms and identifies her as a conformist. This theme creates foils between characters as it shows the similarities between Judge Brack and Hedda Gabler, George Tesman and Eilert Lï¿½vborg, and shows the difference between Thea Elvsted and Hedda Gabler even though they have other qualities in common.Sacrifice: This theme is most clearly identifiable during the first act of the play. Aunt Julia sacrifices so much for the betterment of her nephew, George, such as her annuity, while Hedda only looks on with scorn. Unlike Hedda, Aunt Julia is a selfless person, willing to sacrifice her life for those she loves: her sister, Rina, and her nephew, George. Hedda becomes annoyed with Aunt Julia as she simply does not understand how a person can give such devotion to another. Thea Elvsted also sacrifices, as she is selfless in sacrificing her reputation for her love for Eilert Lï¿½vborg and the manuscript.
These two characters contrast Hedda in that they are able to sacrifice their wellbeing for other people. It is also interesting to note that Judge Brack and Hedda Gabler are the only characters that are unable to sacrifice, which further solidifies them being foils to one another.Manipulation: This theme mainly concerns Hedda and Judge Brack. Hedda's need for
power over another is identified through her interactions with Lï¿½vborg, as she attempts to control his every move; even his death. Hedda almost lives through Eilert Lï¿½vborg and his debauchery, and finds petty amusement in her manipulation and control over his destiny. Not only does Hedda manipulate other people, she also becomes a victim of Judge Brack's manipulation. Brack's intentions of creating a triangle between himself, Hedda, and Tesman, presents a great scandal which Hedda would be involved in. When Hedda realizes she is being manipulated and that there is no way to escape Brack's plan, her fear of scandal prompts her to commit suicide.
Hedda manipulates and victimizes other characters throughout the play, but the final irony is that she becomes the victim of her own game.Loyalty versus Betrayal: This theme is apparent throughout the play, especially in the characters of Hedda, Mrs. Elvsted, and Eilert Lï¿½vborg. Thea is forever loyal to Lï¿½vborg as she runs away from home to be with him. On the other hand, even though the readers know that Hedda and Lï¿½vborg share an intense relationship, she betrays him and leads him to his suicide. Moreover, Hedda betrays Mrs. Elvsted by revealing Thea's fear regarding Lï¿½vborg's drinking habits in front of Eilert himself.The importance of the past on the present and future: Hedda's life prior to her marriage with Tesman, which is not detailed in the play, plays an important role in the characterization, and plot of the play.
Her previous life of growing up as a child of General Gabler gives Hedda her high social status which also provides much of her characterization. Moreover, a few flashbacks to interactions
between Hedda and Tesman provide further justification of, for example, why Tesman bought Secretary Falk's villa for Hedda. Many details of the plot of the play are explained through the character's, in particular Hedda's, past lives. Hedda's previous relationship with Lï¿½vborg can be used as an example of Hedda's past having an effect on the present plot of the play.Gender disparity: In the play it is interesting to notice how qualities that are considered to be assets in men become liabilities in women. This is identified through Hedda's character, as she possesses many qualities that are normally seen in men which would make them successful, but in Hedda these qualities in a woman defy social conventions and thus are liabilities to her. Hedda's manipulation of other people, her deceptiveness, and cruelness lead to her ultimate downfall, but these same qualities, some of which are identifiable in Judge Brack, make Brack successful simply because he is a man. The expectations of a woman and a man are completely different in time period the play is set (1880s), and this is what contributes to Hedda's frustration.
Bravery/Courage versus Cowardice: This theme goes hand in hand with Hedda's fear of scandal. When Lï¿½vborg identifies Hedda as a "...coward at heart", Hedda confirms this character trait. Her fear of scandal leads to her cowardice, as she is afraid to break with any social conventions. She does not develop a relationship with Eilert, even though it is suggested she has feelings for him, because that would create a scandal. Her cowardice and fear of scandal even leads to her death, but ironically this cowardly act is one of the greatest scandals
Bravery and courage is shown by both Thea Elvsted and Eilert Lï¿½vborg. Eilert does not care what society thinks of him, and thus shows his courage by doing what he pleases (e.g. debauchery). Moreover, Mrs. Elvsted displays her courage by running away from her home and husband as she is not satisfied with her current life. This breaks with all social expectations, but for her own benefit Thea runs away. This is a complete contrast to Hedda, as even she is unhappy in her marriage, but instead of taking action like Mrs.
Elvsted, she endures her situation. This becomes a point of both jealousy and admiration that Hedda has for Mrs. Elvsted, as Hedda realizes she could never commit the same act that Thea has committed.Freedom through death: This motif is presented mostly through Hedda's view of death. She commits suicide as a way to escape and finds freedom from the undoubted scandal she would be part of with Judge Brack and Tesman forming a triangle. Moreover, Lï¿½vborg's suicide, although accidental, frees him from the embarrassment and tragedy of losing his manuscript. Hedda views Lï¿½vborg's act as beautiful as it gives her "..
.a sense of freedom..." From here one can identify Hedda's view on death as a way to attain freedom from her unfulfilling life.Death and decay: There is a motif of death and decay initiated by the setting of the play, as the season it takes place in is autumn. Autumn symbolizes death as represented by the falling and decay of leaves. This motif is further prompted with the death of Eilert Lï¿½vborg and Hedda Gabler.
9. Style including distinguishing literary features of
the play - such as the use of SYMBOLISM, telephone conversations, comic relief, the importance of music and lighting etc.The three main symbols in the play are the pistols, Thea's hair, and Eilert's manuscript. Eilert's manuscript is the most important one. In the play, the manuscript is seen as Eilert and Thea's "child," which was created from their love for one another and from their joint effort. This is important because Hedda acts upon her jealousy by burning the "child" in order to break this love between Thea and Lï¿½vborg. Thea's abundant hair is important because is contrasts with Hedda's lack thereof. Thea's hair is very important to Hedda because it makes her jealous due to the fact that it has always been abundant and beautiful, and because it shows the qualities in Thea that Hedda does not have, such as femininity and obvious beauty.
The pistols on the other hand suggest Hedda's masculinity and her longing for a life that she could never have. Both Tesman and Brack dislike Hedda's constant use of the pistols, however the pistols are a symbol of power and control, and Hedda's mind is fixated on taking control of someone's life and molding it to be what she wants it to be. Other aspects of Ibsen's style are his constant use of foils for different characters such as Brack and Hedda, and Thea and Hedda to bring out in Hedda what he wants the reader to see such as her masculinity and her obvious need for courage. Also, by making Hedda a foil to Brack, Ibsen shows the reader that Hedda would be a very successful person had she
been born a man, and this is very important because it shows the role that is set upon women and how it can hinder one's success in such a society.10. Visualize the performance and its effect on the audience - What is the playwright trying to achieve? What means does he use to accomplish his aim?The setting of the stage, as described through the detailed stage directions, would be that of a casual, normal sitting room in Norway in the 1880s. The minimal furniture and other props would keep the focus of the play on the characters and their dialogue, which would be what the playwright is trying to achieve. Moreover, throughout the play the setting does not shift, which further contributes to the idea that the setting plays a secondary role to the characters and their dialogue.
Other than the physical props on stage, the lighting and sound effects would also play a large role in the performance. For example, Hedda's sensitivity to sunlight in order to hide her aging would be a direct contribution of the lighting on stage. I believe the lighting would give the audience a more real feel of the performance. I do not believe that sound effects would be used excessively as Ibsen is a realist, and would not want to over dramatize the performance. Although, sound effects could be used during the dramatic ending of the play where Hedda spews out her emotions through her rash playing of the piano. This scene obviously ends quite dramatically with Hedda's suicide.11. Quotable quotes from each scene or act AND their significanceAct 1 - Tesman: "We were so sorry we couldn't
give you a seat in the carriage.
But you saw what a pile of boxes Hedda had to bring with her." (Page 156)- This is the first piece of characterization of Hedda Gabler that the reader receives. From the onset the reader can see that Hedda is probably of a higher class since she has so much luggage. Moreover, the quotation also indicates that Hedda is probably quite materialistic and expects a high standard of living.Act 1 - Miss Tesman: "Oh, my dear George, I daresay you may find some use for them - in the course of time."Tesman: "Why of course you are quite right, Aunt Julia! You mean as my library increases - eh?" (Page 158)- In these two consecutive quotations, Aunt Julia implies to Tesman that the extra rooms in the house would be used for his future children. Aunt Julia throughout the play attempts to find out whether Hedda is pregnant, and it is suggested that she is. The second quotation reflects upon Tesman's characterization.
He is completely oblivious to Aunt Julia's implication and is seen as completely obtuse.Act 1 - Tesman: "Oh, Auntie - will you never be tired of making sacrifices for me!" (Page 159)- This quotation signifies Aunt Julia's continuous sacrifices for her nephew, which is an important theme in the play. Tesman, rather than realizing the burden of his aunt's sacrifice (taking a loan on her annuity to give the money to Tesman) and refusing her kind gesture, accepts her money. It can be inferred that Tesman has been spoiled all his life by his aunt, who raised him, and almost expects his aunt to sacrifice for
him.Act 1 - Hedda: "No, no, not that! Tesman, please draw the curtains. That will give a softer light!" (Page 161)- This quotation signifies two important factors. First, Hedda's quotation orders her husband to close the curtains instead of politely asking him. This confirms Hedda's power over Tesman in their relationship.
Secondly, this quotation signifies Hedda's insecurity of looking old in a strong light where all the features on her face could be seen.Act 1 - Hedda: "Look there! She has left her old bonnet lying about on a chair." (Page 161)- In this quotation, Hedda identifies Aunt Julia's new bonnet which she bought specifically to impress Hedda as Berta's bonnet. This undermines Aunt Julia's efforts in impressing Hedda, which Hedda does on purpose. She later justifies her rude remark as a result of being "bored".Act 1 - Hedda: "But what an idea, to pitch her bonnet about in the drawing room! No one does that sort of thing." (Page 163)- This signifies Hedda's identification of the class disparity between her and the Tesman household. This becomes a topic of discussion later in the play where other characters question Hedda on why she married below her social status.
Hedda basically criticizes Aunt Julia's "middle class" habits.Act 1 - Mrs. Elvsted: "Yes, dreadfully. For when we met on the stairs you used always to pull my hair." (Page 167)- This quotation brings up the theme of the importance of the past on the present and future. From her childhood, Hedda was jealous of Thea and her beautiful hair. This jealousy continues as Hedda becomes envious of Thea and Lï¿½vborg's relationship.Act 1 - Hedda: "Why, my dear,
good Thea - to think of you daring to do it!"Hedda: "But what do you think people will say of you, Thea?" (Page 170)- These quotations are a few lines apart in the text, but fit together well in describing Hedda's admiration of Thea's fearlessness.
It also signifies Hedda's fear of scandal, and her worries about what society thinks of her. Thea on the other hand has no such insecurities and simply did what she thought was right.Act 1 - Mrs. Elvsted: "He said that when they parted, she threatened to shoot him with a pistol." (Page 171)- This quotation gives a hint to the reader, prior to Lï¿½vborg's introduction, that Hedda and Lï¿½vborg were involved in some kind of relationship before. The pistol Thea refers to could be one of General Gabler's, and this gives the reader the clue. The quotation foreshadows some kind of conflict that will arise between Thea, Hedda, and Lï¿½vborg.Act 1 - Tesman: "Oh, Hedda - one should never rush into adventures.
Eh?" (Page 175)- This quotation provides characterization for Tesman. It shows him as being a pragmatic, and to a certain degree, boring character. He views adventures as something negative, which displays his mundane character.Act 1 - Hedda: "It was part of our compact that we were to go into society - to keep open house." (Page 175)- This quotation shows Hedda's view of her marriage to Tesman as a business deal. She refers to their relationship as a compact, which shows her lack of interest, or love in her marriage. She views her marriage as a business contract rather than a relationship between two people.Act 1 - Tesman:
"No, for heaven's sake, Hedda darling - don't touch those dangerous things! For my sake, Hedda! Eh?" (Page 176)- This quotation comes from the dramatic end of Act 1 where Hedda walks off in anger, telling Tesman that she is heading for General Gabler's pistols.
This again confirms Hedda's power in the relationship as Tesman, rather than being authoritative, runs after his wife in fear.Act 2 - Hedda: "This is what comes of sneaking in by the back way." (Page 176)- This quotation is directed towards Judge Brack, and signifies the secret relationship that Hedda and Brack share. Instead of coming through the front door, Brack enters from the back in secrecy, and further implies Brack's interest in creating a triangle between himself, Hedda, and Tesman.Act 2 - Hedda: "But I! Oh, my dear Mr. Brack, how mortally bored I have been." (Page 178)- This quotation shows Hedda's boredom of her new lifestyle, which she views as below her standard. It also reflects upon Hedda's view of Tesman being a boring, dull character.
Hedda further repeats that she is bored throughout the play, signifying her thirst for life and her dissatisfaction with her current life.Act 2 - Brack: "Not even - the specialist one happens to love?"Hedda: "Faugh - don't even use that sickening word!" (Page 178)- Hedda's clear dissatisfaction for the word love depicts her inability to connect to anyone, which makes Hedda seem quite disagreeable and daunting. This quotation also gives reason for why Ibsen does not celebrate Hedda in the play, as Ibsen believed that one of the greatest human tragedies is denying love.Act 2: Hedda: "Yes, there we have it! It
is this genteel poverty I have managed to drop into!" (Page 179)- Hedda's quotation shows her view of her new life by describing it as "genteel poverty". Even though the Tesman seems quite well off, her standards of living are not met, which further prompts her dissatisfaction and the class disparity between her and Tesman.Act 2 - Hedda: "That was my name in the old days - when we two knew each other." (Page 188)- Hedda is speaking to Eilert Lï¿½vborg in this quotation, and warns him to not call her Hedda Gabler. The theme of the importance of the past on the present and future is identified in this quotation as Hedda acknowledges her previous relationship with Eilert and how it has changed after so many years.
Act 2 - Hedda: "As I look back upon it all, I think there was really something beautiful, something fascinating - something daring - in - in that intimacy - that comradeship which no living creature so much as dreamed of." (Page 189)- Hedda looks back upon her relationship with Eilert prior to her marriage to Tesman. This quotation is significant as it shows Hedda's fascination with scandal. She found life in that relationship with Eilert as she found it daring. Although, she never took it any further as she was afraid of what society would think if she was involved in a serious relationship with Lï¿½vborg.Act 2 - Hedda: "Because I have such a dread of scandal."Lï¿½vborg: "Yes, Hedda, you are a coward at heart." (Page 190)- This is the first time in the play that Hedda herself admits to her fear.
Previously, this fear was implied,
but Hedda's own recognition and acceptance of it comes as a bit of a surprise to the readers. Lï¿½vborg in response agrees with Hedda as he realizes it too. This quotation brings up the theme of courage versus cowardice.Act 2 - Lï¿½vborg: "And then she is so brave, Mrs. Tesman!" (Page 192)- In this quotation Lï¿½vborg attempts to make Hedda jealous as he praises Mrs. Elvsted on her bravery for running away from her unhappy marriage. This is significant as it shows that Lï¿½vborg still has feelings for Hedda, while also showing the contrast between the two foils, Hedda and Mrs. Elvsted, in the theme of courage versus cowardice.
Act 2 - Hedda: "Yes, I have. I want for once in my life to have power to mould a human destiny." (Page 195)- In this quotation Hedda admits her desire to control and manipulate a human destiny. This brings up many themes, like deception, manipulation, loyalty versus betrayal, and the motif of death as Hedda's manipulation finally ends in Lï¿½vborg's death. Hedda satisfies her boredom and thirst for life through her mind games which she finds petty amusement in. This also heavily contributes to plot progression as it sets up Hedda's plan to bring about Eilert Lï¿½vborg's downfall.Act 3 - Tesman: I felt jealous of Eilert for having had it in him to write such a book. Only think, Hedda! (Page 199)- This quote shows how Tesman is uncreative and jealous of Eilert Lï¿½vborg.
This is also important because it shows how Tesman thinks things are important where Hedda cares nothing about them.Act 3 - Hedda: "No, no, don't ask me. I will not look upon
sickness and death. I loathe all sorts of ugliness." (Page 201)- This quotation shows the apparent motif of death and decay within the play, which is quite the most prominent and obvious motif that is seen in the play.Act 3 - Hedda: "I am beginning to think so. And I am exceedingly glad to think-that you have no sort of hold over me." (Page 204)- This is what Hedda says to Brack after he talks about the triangle, and it foreshadows the events that will transpire later in Act 4.
Act 3 - Thea: "Then what am I to do with my life?" (Page 206)- When Thea says the previous statement, she shows that her purpose in life was to finish that manuscript, and that she found purpose in writing the manuscript. This shows how significant the manuscript is.Act 3 - Hedda: "So that pretty little fool has had her fingers in a man's destiny." (Page 207)- Hedda's previous statement shows her pure jealousy for Thea's beauty and her ability to mold the destiny of a human without trying. This is proof of her general ill feelings towards Thea.Act 3 - Lï¿½vborg: "Thea's pure soul was in that book." (Page 208)- Lï¿½vborg's previous statement serves to prove the fact that Thea found purpose in writing the manuscript and that it is very important to both her and Lï¿½vborg, and that they have formed a relationship through this manuscript.Act 4 - Hedda: "I did it for your sake, George.
" (Page 212)- Hedda's previous statement serves to prove the fact that she manipulates the lives of those around her, and also proves her jealousy of the bond that
Thea and Lï¿½vborg have produced.Act 4 - Tesman: "Fancy, if we could make something out of them, after all! Perhaps if we two put our heads together-"(Page 216)- Tesman's previous statement shows the reader how there is a reconstructed bond between Thea and Tesman, and also serves to show the reader that Hedda is losing everything she worked to destroy and manipulate.Act 4 - Hedda: "Oh, what a sense of freedom it gives one, this act of Eilert Lï¿½vborg's." (Page 216)- Hedda's previous quotation speaks of the freedom that Eilert has from the absurdity of life.Act 4 - Brack: "No - In the bowels." (Page 217)- Brack's previous quotation serves to show that Hedda is losing everything she strived to accomplish. She did not mold a human destiny, and has failed at her life's goal. Everything is falling apart in Hedda's life.
Act 4 - Hedda: "And supposing the pistol was not stolen, and the owner is discovered? What then?" (Page 219)- Hedda's previous statement clearly shows how much her life is falling apart, and is a clear indication that Brack has leverage over Hedda's life and has the ability to manipulate her. This is one of the major contributing factors that lead to Hedda's suicide.Act 4 - Tesman: "I'll tell you what, Mrs. Elvsted, you shall take the empty room at Aunt Julia's, and then I will come over in the evenings, and we can sit and work there - eh?" (Page 220)- Tesman's previous statement clearly indicates that Hedda's attempts to foil the manuscript have failed, and that Tesman and Thea have a reconstructed bond. This is evidence that everything Hedda has done has
fallen apart and that her life is in ruins.Act 4 - Tesman: "Oh, I daresay Judge Brack will be so kind as to look in now and then, even though I am out." (Page 220)- This is the final quotation that pushes Hedda off the edge; this is where Hedda sees Tesman orchestrating the Judge's blackmail, and sees that her life is totally in ruins: there is nothing left for her but death.Act 4 - Tesman: "Shot herself! Shot herself in the temple! Fancy that!" (Page 221)- At this point, Hedda has taken control of her own destiny, and shown courage for once in her life, ironically by running away from life itself.
Also, this is a clear example of the biggest scandal that she can impose upon her name, and is very ironic as she has been running away from scandal her entire life.Act 4 - Brack: "Good God! - people don't do such things." (Page 221)- This is significant as it shows Judge Brack's conformity to society which further prompts the theme of individuality versus conformity.
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