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Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler


by Henrik Ibsen

Hedda Gabler Dreams, Hopes, and Plans 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 #4

[Crosses the room.] Oh Hedda—one should never rush into adventures. Eh?
[Looks at him, smiling.] Do you do that? (1.487)

This is interesting: why does Hedda smile here? It’s possible that she’s thinking of her own error, of her own hasty action in marrying George. "I do that," she may be thinking, which is why it amuses her to hear George say the same thing.

Quote #5

Yes, if you only knew how I had been looking forward to it! Fancy—to see you as hostess--in a select circle! Eh? Well, well, well--for the present we shall have to get on without society, Hedda—only to invite Aunt Julia now and then.—Oh, I intended you to lead such an utterly different life, dear—! (1.493)

In Tesman’s mind, his marriage to Hedda isn’t based on any prior assumptions about her future, but rather on her looks and reputation. That’s why a change of plans doesn’t bother him at all; he’s still got his prize.

Quote #6

[Looks at her hesitatingly.] I thought that you, like every one else, expected him to attain the highest distinction.
[With an expression of fatigue.] Yes, so I did. (2.72)

As represented by the house, Hedda’s entire marriage is based on false premises. In this way it seems doomed from the start; as readers we hold out no hope for Hedda’s happiness with Tesman.

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