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Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler is a play by Henrik Ibsen, first performed in 1890. The role of Hedda is generally regarded as one of the greatest female dramatic roles ever written, and some portrayals have been very controversial. Depending on the interpretation, Hedda herself may be regarded as either a tragic heroine[?] or a villain.

Warning: wikipedia contains spoilers

Hedda Gabler is married to the reliable but uninteresting Tesman. It becomes clear in the course of the play that she has never loved him. The reappearance of her former lover, Eilert Lovborg, throws their lives into disarray. Lovborg, a writer, is also an alcoholic who has wasted his talent until now. Thanks to a relationship with the dependable Mrs Elvsted, he shows signs of rehabilitation, and has just completed what he considers to be his masterpiece.

Hedda, apparently jealous of Mrs Elvsted's influence over Eilert, hopes to come between them. Tesman, on returning home from a party, finds the manuscript of Eilert Lovborg's great work, which the latter has lost while drunk. When Hedda next sees him, he confesses to her, despairingly, that he has lost the manuscript. Instead of telling him that the manuscript has been found, Hedda burns it, and encourages him to consider suicide.

When the news comes that Lovborg has indeed killed himself, Tesman and Mrs Elvsted are determined to try to reconstruct his book from what they already know. Hedda is shocked to discover, from the sinister Judge Brack, that Eilert's death was a messy and probably unintentional one. He appears to be blackmailing her. Leaving the others to discuss the situation, she goes into another room and shoots herself.



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