How we cite our quotes:
Yes, I have. I want for once in my life to have power to mould a human destiny.
Have you not the power?
I have not—and have never had it. (2.492-4)
Most of Hedda’s actions in the play are driven by this very desire for power, but her claim here that she’s never had it is an odd one. What about Brack? Eilert? Her husband?
[Looks at him with a smile.] So you want to be the one cock in the basket—that is your aim.
[Nods slowly and lowers his voice.] Yes, that is my aim. And for that I will fight—with every weapon I can command. (3.205-6)
Brack is the only character to match Hedda in selfishness and scheming.
None. I will only try to make an end of it all—the sooner the better.
[A step nearer him.] Eilert Løvborg—listen to me.—Will you not try to—to do it beautifully? (3.319-20)
This is a testament to Hedda’s dissatisfaction and malevolence – she jumps at the opportunity to machinate and control even at the cost of a man’s life.