Hedda Gabler: A Study Guide
Eilert Lovborg was Hedda's ex-boyfriend and he was in relationship new secret relationship without knowing by Tesman and Hedda agree that. Brack will be .. conversations with Thea when Thea goes to her home, in there she has goal to. Now Hedda is driven to find a purpose in her life as she increasingly finds the Throughout the play, Aunt Julia's relationship with Hedda is frosty. She is in love with Eilert Lovborg, and is terrified that his return to town will. When Lövborg comes back into her life during the action of the play, Lövborg's relationship with Mrs. Elvsted, his helpmate and muse, so inflames Hedda's.
So far Hedda has showed dismay in the fact she feels that society has forced her to marry, she has no feelings for Tesman, and she desires more than can be provided. She has trouble envisioning a life of financial mediocrity considering the aristocratic life she has come from, and the only remaining connection with the world she comes from is the pair of pistols which she has inherited from her father. Principal among these was the idea that the writer should render life both objectively and faithfully, concentrating on ordinary people who face problems that can only be resolved in a manner that is true to life.
Also, characters in realist works have discernible and valid motives for their behavior even if they are complex, such as Hedda.
If they are not clear, they must at least have quality that allows the viewer to conclude that even complex characters are true to life and have validity. These actions are what lead to her downfall. Complications unfold when it is read that Hedda herself has had an earlier relationship with Eilert Lovborg, which ended when she threatened to shoot him.
It seems that she did this because to her, Lovborg had in some way begun to ask too much of the relationship. Since that time Lovborg heads in another direction. Hedda is clearly jealous of this relationship, and she manipulates Lovborg and leads him to go to a bachelor party given by Brack and get drunk once again.
The consequence is that he loses the manuscript which, by this time, Thea and Lovborg have come to think of as a child.
Tesman finds the manuscript by the roadside and brings it home, planning in returning it to Lovborg. Lovborg makes his way back to the rooms of Mademoiselle Diana, where he believes the manuscript was stolen from him; and according to Judge Brack the pistol goes off and Lovborg is killed. Her fate was determined by this characteristic, aided by jealousy, and the events leading to her death were all caused by her own manipulation.
If she had not feared the relationship with Lovborg she could have settled down with him and avoided her fate. If she did not require power over others she would not have burned the manuscript or tempted Lovborg to commit suicide; with his death she created scandal, her downfall.
Hedda had put herself in a situation of boredom and unhappiness by marrying Tesman, and manipulating others was the only way she found freedom in life.
And Hedda must be present when he rejects Thea, a scene which makes the full significance of the manuscript in their relationship clear to her. Having Hedda, Thea, and Lovborg close enables Ibsen to move the action quickly and to build tension steadily; the fast-paced action rivets the audience's attention. A skillful dramatist, Ibsen naturally motivates Thea's absence, her presence, and Hedda's presence on the stage at critical moments.
Another skillful piece of stagecraft: Aunt Julia and Lovborg are never on stage at the same time. Pages Tesman admits that he had "a horrid feeling" while listening to Eilert read his book, that he "felt jealous" of Eilert's genius p.
Hedda Gabler, Act III
Immediately he exclaims, "how pitiful to think that he--with all his gifts--should be irreclaimable, after all" p. Tesman's statements and actions about the manuscript are important in evaluating Tesman. Do we take his statements and action at face value, or do they reveal a darker, less admirable side to Tesman? You might want to consider these questions in assessing Tesman: He tells Hedda, about having the manuscript, "I am almost ashamed--on Eilert's account--to tell you.
Does Tesman find satisfaction in Lovborg's being irreclaimable because Lovborg cannot control himself? Tesman, of course, has no wild impulses or uncontrollable urges and can feel superior morally to Lovborg. Does he subconsciously want to harm Lovborg?
When he finds the manuscript, why doesn't he immediately return the manuscript to Lovborg? Even Hedda asks him this. Why does he tell no one he has the manuscript? Why doesn't he leave a note about the manuscript at Lovborg's residence? Is it significant that he doesn't tell a distraught Thea about the manuscript when he encounters her in the street Act IV? Why does he leave the manuscript with Hedda rather than drop it off on his way to see his Aunt Rina?National Theatre's Hedda Gabler - Audience Reactions
Do his words and action prepare for his later complicity in Hedda's burning the manuscript? Underneath his decent, ordinary exterior, are there darker feelings and motives operating? Is there a discrepancy between Tesman's social self and his essential self?
If so, is that discrepancy "commonplace," i. Is suppressing darker motives and impulses often called the shadow characteristic of most of us? The exchange between Tesman and Hedda raises another question. Is Hedda thinking about the possibility of destroying the manuscript?
She asks whether Lovborg could rewrite it. Tesman's reply about Thea's inspiration would be particularly offensive to Hedda. It is Hedda, not Tesman, who thinks of and hides the manuscript when Brack appears. Hedda's vision of Lovborg's dissipation as heroic and noble prompts her reference to vine-leaves and her question, "I suppose you mean that he has more courage than the rest? Hedda idealizes Lovborg's weaknesses but is unmoved by his genius.
Hedda never reads any of Lovborg's book; when Tesman praises its brilliance, she curtly replies, "Yes, yes; I don't care about that--" p. What do these facts reveal about Hedda morally, spiritually, or intellectually? Ibsen often used the individual to make revelations about society; do Hedda's behavior and values reveal anything about her class or her society?
Pages Brack visits at the earliest acceptable time; aware of the threat Lovborg poses to his triangle, he is eager to disparage Lovborg to Hedda. He presents the concrete reality, the sordidness of Lovborg's behavior.
Why does his portrayal of reality affect Hedda so profoundly?
Why does it cause her to lose faith in her idealization of Lovborg's wild lifestyle? What fear does his description of Lovborg's scandalous behavior stir in Hedda? Hedda also becomes aware that Brack, with his desire for control, can be dangerous, "I am exceedingly glad to think--that you have no sort of hold over me" p. Does her statement prepare for the ending?
Pages Hedda, who is quick at picking up sexual implications and fears scandal, makes Lovborg aware "suddenly understanding," p. When Lovborg announces he and Thea must part, why does Hedda involuntarily say, "I knew it! Is she feeling triumphant? Does she see herself as controlling or having power over Lovborg's life? What does this scene reveal about Thea and her relationship to Lovborg? Why does she cry, despairingly, "Then what am I to do with my life?
She leaves saying, "I see nothing but darkness before me" p. Is Thea concerned with Lovborg, the book, herself, or some combination of them? Think about her statements after you finish the play; do they relate to the ending? Hedda is pregnant or physically creative, and Thea is physically barren.
However, Ibsen implies visually that Thea is a creative force with her abundant hair and that Hedda is not with her skimpy hair. In what way s is Thea creative? In what way s is Hedda not creative? The manuscript is symbolically the child that Thea and Lovborg created. What is Thea's contribution to the book, which is the product of Lovborg's genius?
With Lovborg, the theme of creativity is extended to include the artist or writer. Lovborg, the artist, needs Thea to create.
Why doesn't he rewrite the book without her or go on to write other books? Does he need the order and discipline she provides to use his genius productively? On his own, he wastes his life in riotous living. Lovborg is a typical Ibsen artist--a man who has unlimited energy and genius but lacks self-control; he needs a woman for inspiration and control.
However, in civilizing the artist, she ultimately inhibits his lust for life and so his ability to create. This is what we would call a catch situation. The theme of creativity extends to Lovborg and Tesman. Contrast the kinds of topics which they write about and the fact that Lovborg produces books and Tesman collects notes which he has yet to arrange.
There is a minor parallel between them; Tesman has a suitcase full of notes from his honeymoon, and Thea has the notes Lovborg used in writing the lost manuscript. In Act II, Hedda realizes she will not be able to live out her ambitions through George; Brack squelches the possibility of a political career, and she has no interest in academic matters.
So she turns her energies to Lovborg. In trying to control Lovborg, Hedda wants to give meaning and beauty to life; she wants to rise above the narrow conventionality of her own class and the smothering domesticity of the Tesmans and to experience freedom-- vicariously. A coward herself, she wants to experience courage through Lovborg.