Hedda Gabler is a play written by a Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen. The play revolves around Hedda Gabbler who is the daughter of General Gabler. Hedda stands strong against the male dominance customs in the society; she longs to find happiness in her marriage. After her six months honeymoon Hedda comes back home only to be disappointed by everything including her newly wed husband. She feels trapped in her home as there is nothing much to do. She resolves to become manipulative of everyone around her.
Ibsen presents to his audience the play Hedda in a realistic manner. The characters in the play are overly concerned with their role in the society. The play also deals with the systematic problems in the society .Hedda is a woman in the Victorian era who tries to break the status quo of the gender roles. She lacks independence and therefore develops a strong desire for control; she drives Ethe jlert Lovborg her adolescent friend to suicide(pg59). Making Hedda a dramatic realism yet horror stories as we know them, tend to explore wicked characters just like Hedda who possess indifferent characteristics. When Tasman her husband tries to be share his excitement about his slippers, she tells him off ‘I really don’t care about it’’(Pg249)
The play Hedda Gabler is realistic since it does not contain any supernatural elements but represents events that could happen to any ordinary person. Ibsen uses prose language that ordinary people use. The play is also set in a middle class and the characters behave in a manner that any other ordinary person would have reacted under the same circumstances. Hedda is faced with a situation whereby she is unable to get what she wants and due to pressures from the society she turns into a jealousy woman. She is jealous of both Mrs Elvsted and Ejlert she is jealousy of their success. She manages to get hold the manuscript they had worked so hard to write, she happily burns it calling it Ejlert and Mrs Elvsted’s child.(Pg317). Hedda is arguably a horror story as it arouses feelings of fear and shock and it is dotted with mysteries. When Ejlert reveals to Hedda that he has lost his manuscript and wants to kill himself, Hedda hands him one of her pistols and cheerfully tells him to go have a beautiful death(Pg316). This brings about a feeling of fear and shock as we are faced with a hard time trying to figure out how this will end.
The play also presents every day’s people and situations where by the audience could view what is going on in the play as what could happen in any other ordinary home. Ibsen presents human weakness through Elvisted by portraying her as a dependable woman who sought fulfilment in different male characters as she goes looking for Ejlert without her husband’s knowledge. In spite of this Hedda proves to be a horror due to its intense emotion, mood, and environment. Things are charged with a threatening possibility of a coming ill. In Act 1, Mrs Elvsted visits the Tesman’s and informs them that Ejlert a former alcoholic is back in town. We are faced with a threatening possibility since Mrs Elvisted is here looking for another man without the knowledge of her husband(pg257), the question we ask our self is if the husband finds out of the scenario.
Ibsen presents the social-critical perspective of life where he tries to promote human freedom and also exposes different forms of oppression. The writer makes the play a realist through Hedda who was is the daughter to General Gabler. She has the ability to get what she wants, get married to a rich husband but she decides to marry Tesman who is an orphan who has not been brought up in a royal family. She feels trapped because of the chauvinistic nature of the society where by she has no option but to stay with Tesman . She does not get the best she is hoping for she becomes frustrated and liberates herself by dying through suicide. Ibsen presents the play as a horror where by it contains scary or shocking and scintillating plot twist and story reveals. For this case, the act of Hedda committing suicide is shocking; also the kind of marriage life she lives creates a scary hence the audience is faced with scintillating plot twist.(Pg334)
Hedda is a realist play basing on the characters point of view, being a play there is a point of view in individual to individual and as a group Hedda being a lady she treats herself classy and she wants to get things done in a certain way. For this she treats other people indifferently her comments are sarcastic when she tells Miss Tesman ‘‘Good morning miss Tesman. What an early hour to call. So kind of you “(pg252).Hedda is portrayed as a horror through the point of view of characters we are introduced to Hedda a lady who is classy. She wants things to work for her side and in a unique way. For this case the audience are left in a pool of imagination as they try to answer the question of what will happen if things don’t work for her side.
The elements of LBT’s production of Hedda Gabler interplay with our understanding of the elements of horror because it focuses on ‘real life’ the theatre of realism depicts everyday situation, dealing with real people and also dealing with common problems. It takes at what is happening it the real world. It aims at eliminating people’s struggles and concerns in an exaggerated way. Henrik Ibsen achieves this in his play Hedda Gabler by using the protagonist Hedda who is callous, to portray to us the struggles she went through as an unhappily married woman and how she dealt with it.
The production of Hedda Gabler had its emphasis behaviour and tough decisions. It focuses on what people can do when faced with a certain situation. It depicted a mirror held up on the stage for the audience to see themselves and relate with the experiences. It is a true representation of the reality of day to day lives, when George Tesman and the wife returns home from a six months honeymoon, Aunt Julian makes an early visit and enquires of the romantic experience they had.
It consisted of believable dialogue which consists of plain speeches that could be very revealing of character when George Tesman is given the old slippers by aunt Julian, he is so excited and showed them to Hedda telling her how it had memories for him ,she point blankly tells him ‘Not for me’(Pg249)
The production by LBT majored greatly on common every day settings. The play is set in Tesman’s living room which is reflection of the community we live in. The audiences could easily associate themselves with the play and understand.
Henrik Ibsen has incorporated both realism and horror in his book Hedda which makes it a masterpiece and an all-time play. The styles and techniques he has used in the play act as a mirror in today real life situation. The writer is an inspiration to many.
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