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Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler


by Henrik Ibsen

Hedda Gabler Appearances Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Edmund Gosse and William Archer's translation.

Quote #1

Well, you can't wonder at that—General Gabler's daughter! Think of the sort of life she was accustomed to in her father's time. Don't you remember how we used to see her riding down the road along with the General? In that long black habit—and with feathers in her hat? (1.13)

Hedda’s appearance is discussed in very particular terms and characterized by specific imagery. All black, feathers, atop a horse – these all paint the portrait of the reserved, wealthy, powerful, and cold Hedda Gabler.

Quote #2

MISS TESMAN [Suddenly changing her tone.] And to think that here are you a married man, George!—And that you should be the one to carry off Hedda Gabler—the beautiful Hedda Gabler! Only think of it—she, that was so beset with admirers! (1.54)

Hedda is defined by her looks. In this society, beauty seems to be her only value. Only Judge Brack and Eilert are able to appreciate Hedda’s other, er, talents.

Quote #3

[In the meantime, HEDDA walks about the room, raising her arms and clenching her hands as if in desperation. Then she flings back the curtains from the glass door, and stands there looking out.] (Stage directions after 1.170)

Whoa there. Hedda is clearly harboring some hidden rage. Notice the word "hidden" here. She’s so concerned with keeping up appearances that she stifles even this intense anger.

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