This is a text that I've done for my literature class in university, and my first real introduction
to Ibsen's drama (I've read Peer Gynt some years back, but for fun).
The first thing you'd notice about an Ibsen drama is that it is completely water-tight, and I don't
mean it in a "legal-document" sense. In his plays, there isn't a single wasted line or stage direction -- everything said,
every action and every bit of the set means something, and will lead you somewhere.
Hedda Gabler is a general's daughter, who has been brought up in an aristocratic manner and still
occupies the mindset of her past noble style of living. Therefore, she is completely at odds with society and the male figures
around her, whom I feel she thinks are not worthy of her high ideals.
She is trapped on all sides by the three main male figures of her life. Her husband Jorge Tesman
appears at first to be completely unassuming and genteel. But turns out to be completely absorbed with his research on ancient
civilization with no real affection for Hedda.
Judge Brack is obviously a more swarthy and attractive male figure and there is plenty of oozing
sexual potential between him and Hedda but his main goal is to blackmail Hedda into submission.
An even more interesting character is the wasted genius figure of Eilert Lovborg, who had a past
with Hedda before her marriage. His relationship with Hedda is extremely psychologically complex. Hedda sees him as a window
to the outside world that she never dares to experience herself because of her desire to remain "respectable" which befits
her (imagined) aristocratic notions.
(to be continued...)