Hedda Gabler

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At the heart of Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” is Hedda Tesman, a complex woman who is the center and occasional orchestrator of drama and intrigue. In the span of a few days, Hedda is surrounded with a new life, affairs, and a power hungry friend. Her responses to these situations are not what one might expect. These reactions have led her to be interpreted as having many different motivations and characteristics, but Hedda Tesman is at the will of her own jealousy. Hedda’s jealousy of her former life pushes her to become bored and manipulative. When Hedda married George Tesman, she was lowered to a different social and economic class. She acknowledges the role this plays in her boredom saying, “this shabby little world I’ve ended up in. That’s what makes life so contemptible, so completely ridiculous” (Ibsen 1506). This unhappiness and lack of excitement spur her to find…show more content…
Elvsted’s relationship with Eilert Løvborg compels her to sabotage it. Hedda previously had a relationship with Løvborg that ended with her pointing a pistol at that him. However, she works to set up her friend, Mrs. Elvsted with him. After they have experienced some success in the relationship, Mrs. Elvsted says to Hedda, “Just think, he says I’ve inspired him too” (Ibsen 1514). Hedda suddenly cannot stand the relationship between them because now Mrs. Elvsted has achieved a kind of relationship with Løvborg that Hedda was unable to have. She starts to attempt to destroy the relationship by revealing Mrs. Elvsted’s love for Eilert Løvborg. When this backfires, she takes a more radical approach and burns the manuscript they created together, a symbol of their love. She openly says while committing the act, “I’m burning your child, Thea … Your child and Eilert Løvborg’s” (Ibsen 1528). It is her jealousy of the relationship between her former lover and her friend that leads her to repeatedly attempt to destroy their relationship and take joy in the
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