The Role Of A Woman In Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

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Why does Ibsen choose a woman to play the protagonist in the play?

In the play, Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen portrays the main character as a protagonist. A woman plays the main character, which is significant to the play. Henrik Ibsen critiques the 19th century’s society through his portrayal of Hedda but also connects with society because Hedda ultimately self-destructs. Hedda’s envision of life deteriorates when she revolts against gender norms. In the play, Hedda is portrayed to evoke the physiological impacts of societal pressure on women and therefore her personality becomes purely manipulative.
Although Ibsen critiques the role of women in the 19th century, Hedda was used to portray the reality of women. The 1900s was a time where women
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She does not have anything in common with him; he reads manuscripts all day. While Hedda and Tesman are speaking with Miss Tesman, it is apparent that Hedda did not enjoy her honeymoon: Hedda:“What is it, dear?” Tesman: “My old house slippers!” Hedda: “Ahh! Right. You referred to them more than once on the trip--”(10) Hedda’s sarcasm gives the audience a good insight on their relationship. However, Tesman’s reliance on the promotion gives Hedda some hope that she will be able to have maids, horses and more of her envisioned goods. Her outlook on her new life sparks from her past life protected by her father. Hedda still finds it difficult to cope with the downgrade from her fancy upper class life to her new life with Tesman. Her initial stages of self-destruction spark when Hedda begins to understand that Tesman can not afford much, “Hedda! I’m not deluding myself here--I’ve been living in a dreamworld--getting married and setting up a home-based on nothing but expectations, not actual reality” (31)! When Tesman says that he has been stuck in his fantasy of life, it becomes apparent that he was all talk and no action. Hedda knows her only amusement for the rest of her life will be pistols. The handgun is significant to her because it is a symbol of …show more content…
Her goal for self-determination evokes her to fight for societal rights but she ends up caught in the meshes of her own weakness. She kills herself to escape a squalid situation that is caused from her own doing; she will not face reality or take responsibility for actions. Hedda’s death does not symbolize anything important because Judge brack took her empowerment away. She knew the only way to feel the true existence of inner freedom was by shooting herself. Ibsen uses Hedda as a protagonist to go against the typical characteristics a protagonist has; he parallels her with society in a way but also diverges her to fight for her own

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