In the opinion of most critics, a Norwegian poet and playwright Henrik Ibsen is worthy to be ranked with Sophocles and Shakespeare as one of the greatest masters of art of the stage (The Encyclopedia Americana, 694). Henrik Ibsen was crossing borders of the society in his plays.
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Hedda Gabler is a strong, tragic, deep and very lyrical play at the same time. The main heroine is a woman who has lowered herself in order to get married. Her search for the ideal in this world failed, so she allows herself to play with other people's lives. Aiming to get laurels of the accomplisher of other people’s destinies, she becomes a miserable toy in destiny’s hands.
The least what she has in the character are feministic mentalities. The original women like Thea with their shy femininity, curly hair, are disgusting for Hedda in moral and physical sense. She also cannot stand a woman in herself. When she kills herself, she kills first of all this woman inside. This play shows what happens with women who do not have enough respect. They die. Some of them die in direct meaning, others in moral one. The ending is always tragic. Hedda is bored, because she has no right to do what she wants, so she finds her own entertainment: a game with other people’s destinies – a cruel but exciting game. If she had the right to work, perhaps, she would not have time to think about silly things that everything in the world seems to be vulgar and ugly, and that she needs to find a beauty.
Ibsen named his play by her maiden name Hedda Gabler to show that the reasons of her problems are caused not only by her married life, but they started before it. She needs to be adored by everyone, and she wants to control her men and never let them take control of her. As soon as she recognizes that Lovborg admires another woman, who inspired him but not destroyed, she feels jealous and even angry that someone dared to step on her area. She is looking for a hero, but there is no hero in the cozy bourgeois society.
Hedda Gabler concerns the psychological dangers of the social and sexual repression (The World Book Encyclopedia, 4). Her suicide is a revenge on a men’s world, first of all to her husband. She hates not only a physical but also a mental “contact” even if it is about a man she seems to love. To revenge him, she burns his manuscript, which was made by Lovborg with the other woman, Thea. She dreams that he will commit suicide so she gives him a gun. She revenges Mr. Brack with her own death after they decided to live in a triangle: she, Mr. Brack and her husband. However, when she understands that she will depend on Mr. Brack, she cannot stand this thought. At the same moment when she realizes that, she cannot let him have control on her, because now she will depend on him, and she planned that he will depend on all her wishes.
The main push to suicide is the last scene of her life when she realizes that the same woman who has stolen adoration of her former lover now is going to steal her husband. And Tesman from his side is ready to sacrifice his life and time to renew a book of Lovborg, and that means to spend time with the foe of his wife.
Hedda is the type of a woman, who misogynists hate. She is manipulative. She wants to have control of everything. She is a destroyer of the men’s world. But other men, who are blind and inattentive, see beautiful and charming woman who plays with them; they think that it is flirt, and she is close but so unattainable.
Her impulsive behavior leads to her big loss. In two days, Hedda loses a reason to live after she loses three men who adored her.
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