Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Does Hedda Gabler critique feminist principles or support them? What about the character of Hedda herself?

  2. 2

    Is Hedda Gabler a victim of societal pressures and her own circumstances, or a victim only of her own machinations? Give three examples to support your answer.

  3. 3

    What is George Tesman's attitude towards his scholarly pursuits? How does it differ from Eilert Lovborg's approach to his work?

  4. 4

    What is Hedda Gabler's attitude towards her own sexuality? Discuss her pregnancy, marriage, and relationships with Tesman, Brack, and Lovborg.

  5. 5

    In critical scholarship, Hedda's "motivation" (or lack of it) has garnered a great deal of attention. Is there a single force motivating Hedda's behavior, or is she motivated by different things at different points throughout the play? Give three examples to support your response.

  6. 6

    Should Hedda Gabler be considered a tragedy? How does it adhere (or not adhere) to tragic characterization, structure, or catharsis?

  7. 7

    What are the precipitating events that cause Hedda to shoot herself at the end of the play?

  8. 8

    According to Hedda, what is a "beautiful death", and why is it so difficult to achieve?

  9. 9

    When Hedda burns the manuscript, she describes it as "burning the baby." Whose "baby" is Hedda burning, and why must she destroy this infant?

  10. 10

    Why is Hedda so cruel to other females in the play? Does she treat women differently from men?