Free «Hedda Gabler» Essay Sample

This is a play that takes place in Tesman's living room and in a small room situated next to it. It features two main characters Jurgen Tesman and Hedda Tesman who have newly wedded and have just returned from their six month honeymoon. From the beginning of act one, we see Tesman waking up to find that Julle his Aunt who supports him financially had visited them. He is followed by Hedda,who enters afterword but acts rudely towards Aunt Julle. Tesman tries to stop her by asking her to be a bit kinder, but she ignores him and shows little interest in him. Mrs. Elvsted arrives latter on and tells Tesman that his academic rival, Ejlert Lövborg who had been an alcoholic and a failure was back and was in town but reformed. After Elvsted departure, Judge Brack arrives to bring a gossip from town about Ejlert who he says is quite a successful man and may be poised to take the position at the university where Tesman was also counting on getting himself (Davis& Johnston). After he had left, Tesman tells Hedda that they will need to cut back on their expenses.

Act two opens after the return of Brack to Tesman's house, he finds Hedda playing with her pistols because she was bored.

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After their talk, they agree to form a personal bond, this is because Hedda told him that she was bored in her honeymoon and the house that her husband had gone to great lengths to buy her did not impress her at all. Soon, Tesman arrives and their talk turns to that of a stage party that was to be thrown by Brack later that night. Ejlert Lövborg arrival separates the three and they start talking separately where Ejlert talks in earnest with Hedda while Tesman and Brack were talking while getting some drink in the other room. Afterwards Mrs. Elvsted arrives and the resultant talk makes Ejlert think that the group was worried that he would go back to drinking again. The opening of act three is just before down, Ejlert has started drinking again and drops a manuscript which raises issues that leads to the arrest of Tesman and ends when Hedda buns the manuscript and refers to it as the child of Ejlert and Mrs. Elvsted. The play ends with act 4 where Aunt Rina has died and Ejlert was in the hospital. Ejlert latter kills himself with the pistol which went off accidentally as told by Brack. Hedda then leaves the room, goes to play piano and then shoots herself.

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Compare and Contrast

The two plays contain unconventional women who thoroughly defy all norms of feminine behavior. This is particularly seen in the eponymous heroines of Euripides where Medea has the same dreams and desires as any other ordinary Greek woman even though circumstances drive her to shocking actions. On the other hand, Hedda is the exact reverse. The writers have combined propriety and unconventionality which have contributed to the plays' plots and message. Medea a traditional Greek wife is very traditional towards family life; she treasures her children and respects her husband who has authority over her. In contrast, Hedda Gabler is the opposite. She completely rejects all of woman's traditional desires and roles but presents the facade of a proper modern woman. She occasionally expresses strong distaste for love.

Medea and Hedda Gabler both show traditional and untraditional aspects of a woman in different ways. But in the end, Hedda a modern woman is trapped and defeated by the social constraints that she wanted so badly to defy. In contrast, Medea is made to work within these social guidelines which she uses to her advantage. She exploits the means that the guidelines give her so as to achieve her final triumph (Ibsen, 150). Euripides created mythical murderess Medea traditional because he wanted to make a sympathetic character in the eyes of the audience, whereas Ibsen developed Hedda as a character who was torn between tradition and rebellion since he wanted to tackle the effects of the tension that her dual nature shaped.

Additionally, at the end of Euripide's play, Medea, triumphs over society instead of being trapped and defeated by the expectations and restrictions that woman was placed on. She uses these against Jason and succeeds over him. Since according to Greek society, sons are the most important thing that a wife should give her husband. She uses this idea and takes revenge and thus she killed her sons. This was a far more grievous blow to Jason than she could have dealt using any other method and when she was planning her death, she justified the act by saying, "This is the way to deal Jason the deepest wound.

" (Euripides 42).


Both plays have independent-minded women as their central characters. The two authors Ibsen and Euripides show the restrictions and biases towards the society by introducing Hedda Gabler and Medea and exploring the themes of marriage and revenge. Regardless of the setting the treatment of women in the society as portrayed by the two women are similar. This similarity in treatment shows the universality of sexism. The women therefore are expected to adhere to different roles and standards that the society through their husbands expects. The writers therefore, use the lives of the two women Hedda and Medea to point out stereotypes and sexist beliefs that results to the society's treatment and view of women.


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