Hedda Gabler Analysis

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These flavours of irony are enhanced through characters’ names. “Alec D’Urberville” is a counterfeit D’Urberville whereas “Tess Durbeyfield” is a rightful “D’Urberville”, evoking male perfidy and nobility of the “fallen woman”. Similarly, through the play title “Hedda Gabler”, Ibsen’s refusal to subsume Hedda’s personality into her marital title “Tesman” foregrounds her unorthodox personality, portraying the encumbering marriage facing every Victorian women, in which the limitation of the feminine role is embedded in the very nomenclature of society. The writers endow Tess and Hedda with strength necessary to unleash revenge against the “seducer”, a polemic against masculine subduer of female innocence. Both writers subvert traditionally masculine symbols to convey the idea of retribution with Hardy employing a motif of blood to signify Tess’ pastoral sexuality, and Ibsen using a motif of pistols to embody Hedda’s masculinity. The image of Tess spilling blood disposes conventional notions of a demure Victorian housewife. Yet, Hardy attests that her overstepping of propriety is a reaction to patriarchal oppression rather than a manifestation of female madness. Alec is sketched as “the blood-red ray in the spectrum of her [Tess’] young life”, an admonition for the defenceless Tess, who bleeds twice due to Alec, demonstrating female powerlessness under male callousness. First, the “thorns” of Alec’s roses “accidentally pricked her chin”, forecasting the second time she bleeds

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