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Transcript of Hedda Gabler
By: Henrik Ibsen
Presentation By: Shayna Gannon, Taylor Stuart, David Talda, Luke Schmidt
Setting: The Tesman House (Drawing Room, Library); Christiania, Norway 1890's
Main Characters: Hedda "Gabler" Tesman, George Tesman, Judge Brack, Eilert Lovborg, Mrs. Elvstead, Berta, Aunt Julie
Literary Techniques & Quotes
"Yes, I have. I want for once in my life to have power to mould a human destiny." (act 2, page )
- Insatiable appetite for entertainment
- Impossible to please relationship-wise
- Manipulative and clever
"That's not what I've looked for, and I'll see to it that I get what I have." (act 3, page )
- Mediator between all the characters
- Liked by everyone, has good relationships with everyone (especially Hedda)
"Answer me, Hedda... How could you do such a thing?" (act 2, page 52)
- Lives mostly in the past
- Accomplished writer who has given up on his work (he is Tesman's rival in work)
- Unhappy with his past and current love life
"Yes, of course - it makes it a little more expensive. But Hedda had to have this trip, auntie. She just had to. Nothing else would have done." (act 1, page 6)
- Workaholic professor
- Always trying to please Hedda
- Very close to his aunts
" Well, I shall have one thing to kill time with in the meantime." - Hedda, act 1
Hedda's pistols are her only real connection to her past now that she is Tesman's wife. Pistols were more of a male object in this time period, and men were in control. Hedda had more control in the relationship than her husband, Tesman, did.
" Not even the specialist one happens to love?" - Brack
" Don't use that sickening word!" - Hedda, act 2
Hedda is unhappy in almost every scene she talks about her marriage. She is blunt about everything she says, especially when she talks about her husband.
" A new responsibility, Mrs. Hedda?" - Brack
" Be quiet, nothing of that sort will ever happen!" - Hedda, act 2
Hedda does not want to take on the typical housewife role and raise Tesman's children while staying at home all day. She refuses to have children and denies being pregnant every time the topic is brought up.
Themes & Scenes
The opening scene is Tesman talking to his aunt after returning from a six month honeymoon with Hedda. They talk about the trip and how he tries to please Hedda. Hedda insults Tesman's aunt by mistaking her hat for the maid's, although she did it on purpose. This scene shows Hedda's immediate dislike and unhappiness in her life and where she currently is.
The characters learn of Lovborg's suicide, and only Brack knows that it was by Hedda's pistol. Hedda, who has a fear of scandal, commits suicide, partially because of her control over Brack, which she didn't want, and partially because she had controlled Lovborg's future, so she could finally die with some happiness.
The theme is based on gender roles and Hedda's strive to break free of the normal male/female gender roles in her society. Hedda would never have been settled with the life she lived with Tesman, and so the only way she would have been peaceful would be to not live that life any longer.
The way Hedda had to live was tragic and it was heartbreaking to see her suffering, but she did not have to go the way she decided to. She could have lived a happy life is some parts of her life were altered. Overall, this book was dramatic, fast paced, and entertaining.