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In a way there's a Macbeth angle to the story: ambitious man with "particular" woman by his side. The woman is the daughter of a General (does she have violent proclivities?). In an early A wants B, but C. formula, the reader can extrapolate that George wants honor and recognition (prestige), but something is in his way. What is that something? Is it Hedda? Or is it something/someone else? Like lady Macbeth, is Hedda a destructive force (of course, in this particular play, Hedda takes a more prominent role than Lady Macbeth does in Macbeth)?
As the reader reads on, "Cs" begin to emerge within the first act. Money is a big "C." It's apparent that Hedda has expensive tastes, the marriage/honeymoon. Also the dialogue over living arrangements, "But expensive my dear George, It will be expensive for you -- all this place" Miss Tesman says about their home.
Then…… [Read More]
The characters of the individuals are mostly reflective of their appearance however it is not always the case.
The inhuman characters are also wrapped in the covers of appearance. It is a character of human beings that the appearance is appreciated however the real nature of the individuals is always hidden in the deep roots of reality. The appearance is also denoted as a significant deceptive element of human perception and it hinders in the reality. The reality is always assessed in relation to the personal perception and deeds of the character. The apparent perception of individuals is somewhatconcerning the reality. It isn't the total reality.
The work of Ibsen is based on the hard earned humanitarian characters and it depicts the nature of individuals in terms of their perception. It also provides enough room for the judgment based on the audience perception. The perception of the poet is…… [Read More]
Hedda Gabler and Madame Bovary
Nineteenth century literature from Europe is lined with exploration of the nature of human existence and one area of particular interest to literalists had been the female gender. It had been a period of the beginning of the feminist movement and the society's appreciation of women's existence. For this reason authors such as Flaubert, Ibsen and Henry James make up female characters to express their concerns about the many dimensions of female existence that have remained obscured from the society. In the works Madame Bovary by Flaubert and Hedda Gabler by Ibsen they portrayed the spiritual side of the female characters in such a manner that has never been explored before.
In Madame Bovary, Flaubert attempts to portray the scientific aspect of the reason why Emma, his central character act the way she does. First he introduces the non-spiritual environment and continues to set…… [Read More]
..He smiled so scornfully when you didn't dare to go with them to the table in there (Ibsen, Act 2, pg. 60).
Later, when Lovborg thinks he has lost his manuscript due to being drunk, she offers him a gun to shoot himself with, and privately burns the manuscript.
Although on the surface, Stella Kowalski is a more honest person than Hedda Gabler, the two women share the characteristic of dishonesty when it comes to facing the reality of their situations. Stella's lust for Stanley makes her willing to overlook his brutality toward her, and she returns to his bed even after he has beaten her. Stella also lies to herself about his brutality with her sister, Blanche, saying, "I couldn't believe her story and go on living with Stanley" (illiams, Scene 11, pg. 145).
Hedda is more blatantly dishonest in her dealings with people. She is a game-player who…… [Read More]
Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Johan Ibsen wrote the play Hedda Gabler in 1890 that earned confusion and puzzlement among the masses as the exact theme and the writer's idea behind the play and its characters were not apparent as it did not convey any direct message. The main character of the play is that of Hedda Gabler, daughter of General Gabler who married Tesman out of sheer frustration because she was getting old and could not find a suitable and rich match for herself. This report is a query into the reason behind Hedda committing suicide at the end of the play?
The character of Hedda is that of a woman who had to live by the norms of the society that are mainly laid by men and who did not find the rebellion to these norms as an alternative to fulfill her desires to…… [Read More]
Hedda and Ivan: The Struggle of the Willful Self
Hedda Gabler and Ivan Ilyich are both willful individuals. However, Ivan on his deathbed converts from a life of selfishness to a vision of selflessness and thus, it is presumed, saves his soul. Hedda, on the other hand, pursues a selfish existence to the very last and when she realizes that she no longer has absolute control over her life, she shoots herself. The two are very different characters in this way: Ivan submits to the realization that he is not in control, that he is in fact a burden to others, and that there is a beauty in the act of compassion to which he wants to attach himself at the end of his miserable life. Hedda does not interact with this beauty nor does she submit to the realization of loss of control. She instead "opts out" of her…… [Read More]
Ultimately Judith Shakespeare, (like Hedda Gabler) according to Virginia oolf, would have very likely taken her own life (1382). Although life today is still far from perfect for many women in many areas of the world, and while some women (in various poorer parts of Africa, Latin America, and Asia, for example) face many of the same attitudes and obstacles Judith Shakespeare would have faced, women in the United States, Europe, and many other areas today are infinitely freer than Virginia oolf's Judith Shakespeare would have been to pursue artistic (or other careers); support themselves while doing so; and to avoid unwanted pregnancies and childbirths.
Henrik Ibsen, Kate Chopin, and Virginia oolf, all writing in either the late 19th or early 20th centuries, all depict, within the works I have discussed, various strictures and limitations on the lives and aspirations of women during those times. For today's women, there are…… [Read More]
He alone knew that with the consciousness of the injustices done him, with his wife's incessant nagging, and with the debts he had contracted by living beyond his means, his position was far from normal." (Tolstoy, Chapter III). Not everyone thinks Ivan Ilyich's salary is meager, and he chooses to live beyond his means, thus although he is ordinary, his world is not absent of examples of how it is possible to live differently. Likewise, the married lovers of "The Lady with the Dog" could theoretically leave their spouses, although divorce is difficult in 19th century Russia. hat impedes them seems to be the fact that openly leaving their spouses and children will make them societal pariahs, and result in a loss of financial and social status. At the end of the tale, their resolve to begin their life anew rings hollow, and they may very well remain willing to…… [Read More]
Recurring Western Preoccupation
One of the most frequently recurring themes in Westernized culture is that of death. This motif is certainly evinced in a number of forms of literature -- particularly those esteemed to possess literary value -- including Leo Tolstoy's "Death of Ivan Ilyich" and in Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler." Death dominates the plot of both of these works of literature. There are multiple deaths in Ibsen's work, whereas the protagonist in Tolstoy's realizes early on that he is fated to die and the proverbial shadow of death looms over the ensuing pages. An analysis of the thematic device of death and its importance in both of these works reveals that it largely functions as a petty escape in Ibsen's text, and is a means to a more profound level of transcendence in that of Tolstoy.
There is a point of despair that accompanies both of the deaths portrayed…… [Read More]
Doll's House (Henrik Ibsen)
The title of Ibsen's masterpiece -- A Doll's House -- doesn't lack meaning or symbolism; that is to say that the house in which Nora, the protagonist, lives is a house, which, for all intents and purposes, is one that has been constructed for the sole purpose of keeping her a kept woman (i.e. A doll in a doll's house). Like a play thing, Nora makes up dances to please her husband, wears seductive outfits and exists, for the most part, to entertain those around her. She is often whimsical and spontaneous -- downing five macaroons in a sitting if she feels like it. The poignancy of this play comes with Nora's realization that sometimes women think for themselves. This happens when Nora forges her father's signature, takes out a loan without asking her husband, Torvald, and then leaves him and her children in order to…… [Read More]
Although it is difficult to know exactly how audiences watching Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House felt about the content of the play when it was first performed, it is difficult for us reading or watching it in the 21st century to see it as anything but a strongly feminist statement.
hat is especially striking about the powerful feminism of the play - other than the year in which it was written - is the fact that Ibsen himself always claimed to be resolutely apolitical. And yet for a man who claimed in no way to be either a feminist or more generally an advocate for social change, his exploration of the ways in which women were continually infantilized by society in fact seems highly political to us, and in fact is one of the reasons that the play remains so compelling to us more than a century after…… [Read More]
Ibsen and Brecht
The live theater has a way of bringing the audience into the play like no other medium. atching the actors on stage, the audience members all become voyeurs, who witness the secrets of lives behind closed doors. This is a wonderful thing when telling mysteries or comedies where the audience is asked to become part of the story. In dramas however, the playwright needs the audience to relate to the characters but to do so in a way that the message of the story has more merit than the characters themselves. To accomplish this, the playwright has to use certain techniques that will ensure the audience does not get so involved in the minutiae of the story that they lose the message of the larger picture. Playwrights Bertolt Brecht in "The Good oman of Szechwan" and Henrik Ibsen in "Hedda Gabbler" use different techniques to achieve the…… [Read More]
Saikaku, Pushkin and El Saadawi: Is Justice Possible?
The concept of justice, in literature and in life, is a universally cherished yet complex and inherently ambiguous one. All societies have respective, sometimes opposing, ideas about justice. Islamic Sharia law (once enforced in Afghanistan by the Taliban) states that cutting off a hand is apt justice for theft. Western society would consider that act not only unjust but barbaric. Webster's New American Dictionary defines "justice" as (1) "the administration of what is just (as by assigning merited rewards or punishments)"; (2) "the administration of the law; and (3) FAIRNESS; also RIGHTEOUSNESS" (p. 285). By any of those (admittedly Western) definitions, particularly the last one, neither Ihara Saikaku in "The Barrelmaker, Brimful of Love"; Alexander Pushkin in "The Queen of Spades"; nor Nawar El Saadawi in "In Camera" depict justice as feasible within the socially-constructed institutions (e.g., insane asylums; courtrooms; marriage) or…… [Read More]
However, in line with the Paz prompt at the outset of this discussion, Keats merely uses this tradition as a bridge on which to extend toward motivation on behalf of the evolving form. The subject matter is where this work takes a step toward modernity. The manner in which Keats describes the reality of dying is startling for its time primarily because it lacks religiosity. In describing death, the poet tells, "where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; / here but to think is to be full of sorrow / and leaden-eyed despairs; / here beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, / or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow."
The notion of discussing death from a decidedly humanistic rather than spiritual perspective is more daring and innovative than perhaps we are won't to give credit for. It is remarkable that the poet would invert a steadfastly traditional form…… [Read More]