Books and Movies Reviews


"Look, Thea. I'm burning your baby, Thea. Little Curly hair!
Your baby…yours and his.
The baby. Burning the baby." (D.C p.88)

I struggled to fully understand why she urged Lovborg to kill himself, but in this context I can only speculate that it was to further consolidate the end of the relationship between Miss Elvsted and Lovborg, of which she was so envious.

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By the end of the play, Hedda has relinquished all of her power. Lovborg's death backfired and Hedda ended up losing the dominance over Jorgen, as he and Mrs Elvsted devote their lives to resurrecting Lovborg's manuscript and Mrs Elvsted hopes to inspire Tesman as she did Lovborg. Brack then establishes power over her through her fear of scandal, blackmailing her in a sense to agree to his terms of living. He could destroy her at any moment by releasing the information that the gun which killed Lovborg belonged to Hedda. She finds this thought unbearable;

"I'm still in your power. At your disposal. A slave. I won't have it. I won't" (D.C p.105)

So Hedda, unable to live under the control of others, plays a final tune on the piano before taking one of her fathers pistols and shooting herself.

Although both Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Strindberg's Miss Julie ended with the suicide of the leading character, the circumstances by which the suicides occurred were most different, and particularly in the case of Miss Julie, the writers personal thoughts were prominent in the outcome. Julie ended her life after a deep underlying yearning to be dominated by Jean and in the end displays her inferiority by begging Jean to give her permission to end her life. This is unlike the circumstances in Hedda Gabler, where Hedda maintains her dignity and status to the very end. Unlike Julie, she cannot bear the thought of being under the control of others. This is why I speculate that Hedda Gabler could very well have been written …


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