Study Guide

Hedda Gabler Genre

By Henrik Ibsen

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Realism, Drama, Psychological Thriller, Tragedy

Drama is all about conflict, and Hedda Gabler is full of it. Hedda, Eilert, Thea, George, Brack, and Aunt Julie all want different things, and they’re fighting, as Brack says, with "every weapon" to get them. Because Hedda is in there manipulating everyone left and right, the play focuses heavily on psychology, upon which much of its suspense is built. We talk plenty about Tragedy in "Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis," and Hedda is a shoe-in for realism since Ibsen supposedly pioneered the genre. Notice how there’s nothing fantastical about the plotline or the characters here – just an hyperbolic version of the real emotions we all deal with every day.

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