In Hedda Gabler, playing by society’s rules is often more important than human life. Set in the late 1800s, the characters are constrained by Victorian values, particularly when it comes to sex. Because so many sexual topics are taboo, many of the conversations and machinations can be understood only in subtext and innuendos. The threat of public scandal hangs constantly over the characters’ heads, threatening to ruin social status, and therefore lives. At the same time, some characters find pleasure in rebelling, albeit it secretly.
George doesn’t really love Hedda; she’s just a trophy wife.