Hedda Gabler does not deserve sympathy. Hedda Gabler is a play written by Henrik Ibsen. This essay is of the opinion that the protagonist, Hedda, does not deserve the reader’s sympathy.
Hedda is proud and wants recognition for her husband’s title. She emphasizes to the maid Berta to address her husband formally as Dr. Tesman and avoid using the familiar address of Master George. (Ibsen 17). Hedda shows her high airs when she pretends to mistake Aunt Juliana Tesman’s bonnet to belonging to the maid Berta. (Ibsen 78). This is a slight and insult. She is not interested in George’s homely house slippers that Aunt Juliana has so lovingly saved for him to wear in his married state. Hedda can hardly contain her disgust or rudeness with Aunt Juliana who has mortgaged her annuity to arrange a loan to buy furniture for her nephew George’s new matrimonial home. Hedda does not deserve sympathy for her behavior.
Hedda shows herself to be a conniving and cunning woman. She fakes a false close friendship with Mrs. Thea Elvsted because she wants to extract information about her former beau, Eilert Lovborg. (Ibsen 46). Hedda proves herself to be an intelligent interrogator when Mrs. Elvsted professes this.
"Oh, how good and kind you are!
I am not used to such kindness."
Mrs. Elvsted is gullible. She cannot fathom Hedda’s underlying interest in Lovborg. She
literally spills the beans about her infatuation with Lovborg. Hedda has shown how unfaithful and disloyal she is towards George. They are newly weds but she is tired of him and expressed hidden interest in her old flame, Lovborg. Hedda is afraid that she cannot hide her ineterest in Lovborg from George so she reminds Thea to keep the conversation about Lovborg a secret. (Ibsen 55).
Hedda and Lovborg share a heart to heart talk. Hedda confesses she is a coward. By saying this, she deliberately disarms Lovborg against herself to set her trap to embarrass Mrs. Elvsted and Lovborg. Hedda is a villain by betraying Mrs. Elvsted’s confidence and wounding Lovborg’s pride and ego. Hedda uses her cunning to deceive Lovborg and frustrate Mrs. Elvsted. She breaks up their bond of a working relationship. Then Hedda coldly gives Lovborg her pistol with the instructions to use it. She knows that Lovborg is once again a broken man after accidentally misplacing his manuscript in the streets. She does not want to return his new book because if Lovborg becomes successful, then George will be denied his professorship and promotion. Hedda will not get her lavish life style without her husband’s anticipated job. She cruelly burns Lovborg’s new book and hand him her old pistol with the suggestion that he should kill himself beautifully. Lovborg dies after his suicide. Judge Brack visits the Tesmans to tell Hedda that he recognizes the pistol. He wants to blackmail Hedda but she is too proud to bend to his will. She says that she wishes death instead. Brack does not believe that she has the courage to kill herself. Hedda does kill herself and she times her last sentence to coincide with her fatal shot. Hedda mocks at Brack. She says that if Judge Brack would be the last male in the basket, it is better to kill oneself. Hedda dies with pride after mocking at her tormentor. She has destroyed Mrs. Elvsted and Lovborg’s life. Hedda does not deserve the reader’s sympathy.
Project Gutenberg. Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen. The Project Gutenberg EBook of
Hedda Gabler, by Henrik Ibsen. 2000. Project Gutenberg. 17 Apr. 2007.
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