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Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler


by Henrik Ibsen

 Table of Contents

Hedda Gabler Themes

Hedda Gabler Themes


Hedda is famous as a cold-hearted, manipulative woman years ahead of her time. In this play, her ability to influence others has a lot to do with her sexuality and good looks. Machinations become a...

Women and Femininity

Hedda Gabler takes place in Norway in the late 1800s. Women are restricted by Victorian values and prevented from having any real lives of their own. As such, they exist only in relation to men. Th...


Hedda Gabler explores a marriage between an aristocratic woman and a seemingly middle-class man. Wealth is a constant barrier between them, not only as far as money is concerned but also in regards...

Respect and Reputation

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 s...


Courage is tied to the idea of rebellion in Hedda Gabler – rebellion against society and its constraints. For one character, this means secretly defying the limits of her sex by manipulating...


Beauty is power in Hedda Gabler. Hedda herself is a stunning woman of aristocratic good looks, which she uses to get what she wants. Because everyone wants to sleep with her, she has power over men...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

If Hedda Gabler teaches one lesson, it is that dreams cannot be relied upon. In this play, all plans for the future are predicated upon falsities, lies, misunderstandings, or miscommunication. Whet...

Drugs and Alcohol

Hedda Gabler features a recovering alcoholic as one of its main characters. The play draws a connection between the idea of courage and the idea of drinking – surely a man must be courageous...

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