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In this 1890 play, a newly-married couple goes from honeymoon to utter disaster. Hedda, a wealthy young woman, has just been wed to George Tesman, an aspiring professor. Very little holds their marriage together, however, as it becomes swiftly apparent that Hedda and George have next to nothing in common. When George’s scholarly rival, Ejlert Lovborg, begins gaining ground in a competition for a coveted academic post, jealousy and desperation pervade their marriage. The differences between Lovborg’s seemingly successful situation and Hedda’s own meager lifestyle become too great for her to bear. Together she and George hatch a heartless plan for revenge and watch the tragic plot unfold. Although their treachery forms a temporary bond between them, Hedda and George soon find that not even they can escape the destructive consequences of their cruelty.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
PLAY IN FOUR ACTS.
HEDDA TESMAN, his wife.
MISS JULIANA TESMAN, his aunt.
BERTA, servant at the Tesmans.
** In the original "Assessor."
portrait of a handsome elderly man in a ...
Reviewed by lizkies on Feb 22, 2010
a great reread.
I'd only remembered what happens at the end, and not at all why. I didn't recall the theme of Hedda's pregnancy at all. Everyone scrutinizes her body and her expected future, but no one other than the audience acknowledges her unhappiness, and the oncoming child, and her opportunity to destroy the "child" of her only comrade. I read a review of NYC's recent production that calls Hedda "evil" and I was shocked, because, what else is a proportionate response to the pain of her mistake.
The other new idea to me was the description of her youth with her militant father, as his compatriot and sidekick. The General Gabler, giving his name to her and the play. The qualities of the father passed to the daughter, they rode side by side and shared guns, but doomed with a female life, Hedda's only adulthood can be marrying a useless bore. She can say of her pending family, "it is killing me," but in the end that's just not accurate enough.
Reviewed by emiletic on Jul 16, 2009
Protrait of a Self-Oriented Woman
This is a short play, well done in that it made me really despise Hedda!
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Ratings for 'Hedda Gabler' by Ibsen, Henrik