Literary Criticism Of Hedda Gabler

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Hedda Gabler is a psychological domestic drama written by Henrik Ibsen in 1890, and has become one of his most talked about plays. The play centres on a complex, enigmatic female protagonist and femme fatale, Hedda Gabler, the daughter of the aristocratic General Gabler and married to middle-class scholar George Tesman. Hedda is a conflicted and often irresponsible egotist who feels suffocated in her sterile environment. She has married Tesman out of convenience and not out of true love. Although she may appear as the average, well-mannered housewife, she completely rejects the feminine duties presumed of her by her society and detests the thought of motherhood – she has no interest whatsoever in her unborn child and even admits that she has no maternal instinct or ability to be responsible for any being but herself. Hedda is unconventional in the sense that she enjoys explicitly male activities like shooting her father’s prized pistols for entertainment and is fascinated by the forbidden male world of hedonism and vitality that she is prevented from partaking in. Hedda has an insatiable appetite for life, yet suppresses these desires in order to maintain her code of conduct and stay clear of any scandal, which is her biggest fear. She suffers from ‘mortal boredom’ and she is at war with herself. Her desire for freedom makes her ruthless and manipulative – the female counterpart to Judge Brack. Ibsen portrays the influence of Freudian theory with making the unconscious
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