by Henrik Ibsen
Hedda Gabler Respect and Reputation 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.
The fact that I dared not shoot you down—
—-that was not my arrant cowardice—that evening. (2.370-2)
Hedda is afraid of more than one scandal here – not just the obvious downfall of her role in Eilert's death, but also the general social transgression of getting too involved with a man of questionable repute. ("Questionable repute" is Victorian for "raging alcoholic.")
At ten o'clock—he will be here. I can see him already—with vine-leaves in his hair—flushed and fearless— (2.486)
Hedda imagines Eilert living life to the fullest, which in her mind means disregarding (or being "fearless" of) the rules of society.
Not a single home. Henceforth, as before, every respectable house will be closed against Eilert Løvborg.
And so ought mine to be, you mean?
BRACK Yes. (3.200-2))
Here we see the rules of society being used as front for ulterior motives. Brack doesn’t really care about the Tesmans’ reputation; he just wants to be the only other man in Hedda’s life.