Examine the Relationship Between the Women in Ibsen's 'Hedda Gabbler'

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“Hedda's tragedy is partly that she realises that, with her aristocratic instincts and distaste for intellectual pursuits, she is an anachronism in a world of growing equality between the sexes; that is her dilemma rather than that she is a female Jekyll and Hyde.” (Michael Billington, The Guardian, 13 Sept, 2012). Use this quote to discuss the relationships between the women in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Hedda Gabbler, written in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen is considered to be one of the greatest and most profound examples of modern drama ever written. Ibsen deals with a number of different class and social issues within the play. He documents a complex woman’s struggle to cope, as she is suffocated by the male dominated society that she has been forced to subject herself to. The following essay will in particular discuss the relationships between the women of Hedda Gabler. Ibsen uses the themes explored in the play to examine and challenge the role of women in society. This is evident through the relationships that Hedda has not only with the male characters in the play but from those that she has with the two other prominent female characters in the play; Thea Elvsted, the delicate love interest of Ejlert Lövborg and Aunt Julie the benevolent aunt of Hedda’s new husband Jörgen Tessman. Both women are contrasting representations of Hedda. From the opening of the play her [Hedda’s] relationship with Aunt Julie is a strained one. Hedda views Aunt Julie as a symbol of what she herself loathes and could at the same time could quite easily become. Aunt Julie epitomises the idea of the domestic, dutiful woman with no true purpose of her own. She instead finds her purpose through the lives of the male characters and the arguably mediocre success that Tessman has had. This becomes clear from the opening scene of the play as Aunt Julie announces to Berte
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