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Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler

by Henrik Ibsen

Courage Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

MRS. ELVSTED
I shall never go back to him again.
[…]
HEDDA
But what do you think people will say of you, Thea?
MRS. ELVSTED
They may say what they like, for aught I care. [Seats herself wearily and sadly on the sofa.] I have done nothing but what I had to do. (1.354-363)

This may be the one representation of true courage we actually see in Hedda Gabler.

Quote #2

HEDDA
Because I have such a dread of scandal.
LØVBORG
Yes, Hedda, you are a coward at heart.
HEDDA
A terrible coward. (2.360-2)

It’s odd that, throughout the play, Hedda makes statements like this one. She thinks she is a coward; she thinks she has no power over anyone; she thinks she is poor. These thoughts seem to run contrary to her external image.

Quote #3

HEDDA
The fact that I dared not shoot you down—
LØVBORG
Yes!
HEDDA
—that was not my arrant cowardice—that evening. (2.370-2)

This is a bit open to interpretation, but it seems as though Hedda is referring to the additional cowardice of breaking up with Eilert in the first place. She didn’t have the guts – as Mrs. Elvsted seems to have had– to trash her reputation.

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