Study Guide

Hedda Gabler Courage

By Henrik Ibsen

Courage

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 and coercing the men around her. For another, this means leaving the good graces of his aristocratic family and engaging in a life of alcohol and debauchery. For yet a third character, it means leaving her husband behind to be with the man she loves.

Questions About Courage

  1. Is Hedda’s suicide courageous or cowardly? How about burning Eilert’s manuscript?
  2. Hedda says that Eilert is courageous, both before his death and after she hears the (false) story of his suicide. What makes him seem courageous to her, in each instance?
  3. Aunt Julie claims that she always needs someone to take care of. What does this say about her character?

Chew on This

Mrs. Elvsted is the only truly courageous character in Hedda Gabler.

Eilert Løvborg is the only truly courageous character in Hedda Gabler.