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Hedda Gabler

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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  26,011 Ratings  ·  452 Reviews
Filled with a passion for life that cannot be confined by her marriage or “perfect home,” Hedda Gabler strives to find a way to fulfill her desires by manipulating those around her. Former artistic director of the National Theatre and top-flight director of both stage and screen, Richard Eyre helms his own new version of Ibsen’s classic at London’s Almeida Theatre in Sprin ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Nick Hern Books (first published December 1890)
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Kalliope
May 23, 2015 Kalliope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation



What is in a text, what was written, what we read, or, in the case of plays, what is acted out?

Continuing my theatre season, I attended a performance of Hedda Gabler, but read the text before hand, and listened in parallel to an excellent dramatized version .

I had watched another performance during my university days, and my memories of the work seem to be centered on the rights of women. To find their own place in their society and to find and exert their own volition in their lives aI recalled
...more
Mariel
Feb 13, 2013 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: now I am burning your child
Recommended to Mariel by: Sean
I want for once in my life to have power to mould a human destiny.


People are in other rooms, people sitting on sofas and people behind desks. Voices from other rooms and voices carry. People have their destinies as their children in hearts cold ashen wombs worth nothing until it thrown away. I don't want to call it human. I don't see arms and legs and feet.
I felt the tragedy of the loss of Hedda Gabler's life to her own colorless lightning when the speed stopped. Big eyes in a head and I don't k
...more
Sidharth Vardhan
Oct 13, 2016 Sidharth Vardhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, plays
Ibsen's plays are full of characters unhappy with the life they are socially expected to live and feel a wish to break away from it. A Doll's House is about a woman that chose to break away from such a life upon being disillusioned about it while Ghosts is about a woman who regrets missing the opportunity when she had a chance. Here, we have a woman who is tempted to break away from socially expected life but is afraid of scandel. There is thus this frustration which doesn't leave her much to fi ...more
Chris_P
What a character, Hedda Gabler! A woman who could be called evil but in fact a woman in desperate need for something extraordinary even if it is in death. Blasphemous in a way, she cares less about the outcome than what leads to it. In short, one of the most powerful, interesting and well-crafted characters in literature. Four stars dedicated to her. Otherwise, the story is good but far from perfect.
Sophie VERStand
Ibsens bösartig-melancholische Frauenfiguren sind einfach herrlich. (:
Die Dialoge seiner Dramen sind so spitz und voller Hinterhältigkeiten - sehr lesenswert. Zudem ein großartiges Portrait des bürgerlichen Lebens 1890 in Norwegen.
Mya
Feb 14, 2016 Mya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't like it

I thought hedda was a bitch and got was she deserve.

I guess I can understand the desire for freedom.
Amy Catherine
Dark, intriguing, and really, really good. This work of Ibsen's strips his characters of anything spiritual and focuses intently on the society in which they find themselves in, and boy, the nineteenth-century was strictand super dull.

Hedda is trapped in an era that she is too modern for - she's stuck in an unhappy marriage simply to keep the middle class lifestyle that a woman in that time wouldn't have been able to uphold on her own. She wants to be independent and free but society holds up a
...more
Ken Moten
Sep 12, 2016 Ken Moten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, realism-stuff
You know when you meet someone for the first time, but they feel like in old acquaintance because both of you share a mutual friend or relation? In my case the "someone" is Henrik Ibsen and mutual friend is Søren Kierkegaard. Ibsen is often called the "Father of Realism" (one of my favorite genres) and Kierkegaard is often called the "Father of existentialism" (my favorite school of philosophy). This guy was tailor-made for me. This is a tough, but entertaining play as far as I am concerned.

The
...more
Amy
Sep 26, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: henrik-ibsen
“Good god, people don't do such things!”
― Henrik Ibsen, Hedda Gabler
Such a good story:)
Lavinia
Jan 19, 2012 Lavinia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, in-en, 2012
Dark is probably not the adjective to describe it. I've seen it mentioned in one of the descriptions. Nor is Hedda evil. But the drama definitely holds a certain coldness to it (the same coldness one meets in Bergman's films, I'm tempted to say) and I cannot admit I understand Hedda entirely; she starts as a master of puppets, seems mischievous and always plotting but ends up alone and misunderstood. And makes you think she was alone and misunderstood all along.
I'm definitely looking forward to
...more
Jonfaith
Dec 30, 2016 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see him. With vineleaves in his hair. Flushed and confident.

I have intended on reading Ibsen my entire adult life. Thinking that perhaps my number may be up, I finally ventured and am glad I did. This play was surprisingly modern and kinetic. Not sure why, but I expected something dour, suffering in the shadows. Violence through understatement. A Scandinavian skewering of morals.

Mismatched couples are such fun--from Middlemarch to The Honeymooners. I'd like to read responses to the charact
...more
Josh Belville
Oct 01, 2011 Josh Belville rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
I suppose in the long run, I prefer Hedda Gabler to Doll's House, if only because Hedda is such an amazing protagonist to watch when you think of the social context of the play being performed in 1890. Today, she seems like a cold, heartless bitch. And even back then, people may have thought that. But she also bucks the trend of the "well made play," by becoming an anti-hero of sorts. And really, who is the one to follow in this play in the first place? George? Eilert? Mrs Elvsted? No one seems ...more
Bruce
Oct 17, 2012 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harold Bloom has called this play Shakespearean in scope and character, and I think he is correct. The central enigma is Hedda herself, a character of erotic self-destructiveness, fascinating and frightening simultaneously. Is she the embodiment of pure and inexplicable evil, as Iago would seem to be, or is she a victim of her time and culture, a woman of profound aspirations and ability trapped in a constricted and unimaginative marriage and role from which she tries desperately to escape? Her ...more
Mara Shaw
Sep 23, 2012 Mara Shaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ibsen captured the horror of the limited options available to women of propriety in 1890 with violence and virtuosity. It is irrelevant whether you like Hedda or not. She was not cut out to live within the straight jacket of society. None of the available options -- and Ibsen brilliantly explores them all (marriage, affair, manipulation of men) -- were a hell to her.

This play shook the world of "women's" lit long before women could vote. Originally performed only for women, it surprised the the
...more
Antje
Endlich ist die Protagonistin eines Ibsen-Dramas ein bösartiges Frauenzimmer! Ich glaube, noch nie ein Stück mit derart großen Genuss verschlungen zu haben, in dem ich keine der Hauptfiguren mochte. Aber Ibsen lässt sie glaubwürdig vor dem geistigen Auge des Lesers entstehen und entspinnt eine Handlung von ungeheuerlicher Dramaturgie, die mich einfach nur begeisterte. Es blieb mir unmöglich, das Heftchen aus der Hand zu legen, nachdem im Zweiten Akt zahlreiche Überraschungsmomente und Spannungse ...more
Arman Mohammadi yazdi
نخستین اثری بود که از ایبسن خواندم. در حین مطالعه بارها به خود گوشزد کردم که حتما تمام آثار ایبسن را هم به فارسی و هم به انگلیسی بخوانم.
بعد روانشناسانهی شخصیتها (شاید تمام شخصیتهایی که حضور داشتند) ـبه ویژه شخصیت اصلی، هدا گابلرـ عمیقاً لذتبخش بود و ایجاز و سادگی متن نمایشنامه به تاثرات روحی حاصل از کنشها قدرتی دوچندان میبخشید.
شخصیت هدا گابلر من را چند باری به یاد شخصیت اصلی جنزدگان داستایوفسکی انداخت. هرچند که ممکن است چندان واقعبینانه نباشد این تداعی ذهن اما مهر تاییدی است بر تمرکز و توجه ای
...more
Zahra
Feb 10, 2017 Zahra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, play
- "I often think there is only one thing in the world I have any turn for.”

- “And what is that, if I may ask?"

- "Boring myself to death."
Beth
This is undoubtedly a play to be performed if one ever existed. Hedda is a brilliant female character - Lady Macbeth meets Betty Draper. She must be applauded as a female character who is not a hero or a villain, not a bitch or a crone, but a cruel, neurotic, charismatic presence. I was surprised by the almost feminism of Ibsen's play, how he manages to serve Hedda so well, with fantastic dry wit - the subtlety of the scene between her and Judge Brack would be spine-chilling on stage - and glori ...more
Catherine ♡
Jan 21, 2017 Catherine ♡ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school, play
(Read for school.)

I actually really liked this play! It was interesting to see the power dynamic between Hedda and George - it says a lot about the type of society they lived in. And Hedda was definitely a very unique character.
Michelle
Jan 25, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, audiobook
I was supposed to read this book a long time ago in undergrad. I finally got around to it. I'm sure it has some deep symbolic meaning attached to it, but here are my conclusions. Hedda was a horrible person. I didn't think I was supposed to feel sympathy for her until the end, but even then.
Kristina Herondale
I rather enjoyed this play - classics that masterfully evolves around dialogue.
This is truly dramatic and depressing story that unravels around the sophisticated and lost character of Hedda.
Lizzie
Read via DailyLit in 47 parts. (Edmund Gosse and William Archer translation.) I read this in college in a very bad class, and I was curious about NYC's new revival so it was time for a reread. Thank goodness! I only remembered what happens at the end, and not at all why.

This read was much more thought-provoking. And somehow, though it is key, I didn't recall the theme of Hedda's pregnancy at all. (It was a really bad class.) And that's not a spoiled revelation; though she only (barely) admits it
...more
Carol
Mar 06, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play, ibsen
Hedda Gabler is truly an intelligent, unpredictable, self-centered, manipulating woman. She enjoys the luxurious lifestyle and has found some poor sap, Jurgen Tesman, to marry her. The play begins with their arrival home from their 6 month honeymoon. Tesman's aunt Julie, arrives at their home to meet the newlyweds with a gift of slippers for Tesman from his sickly aunt Rina. It appears that Hedda's clothing is loose fitting and she seems to be "showing" (pregnant). Hedda insults both her husband ...more
Jo
Nov 20, 2014 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look at how a society based on reputation functions. The last line of the play (Good God! People don't do such things) is really reinforcing that concept that one's reputation is more important than one's character. Hedda is not a likeable character. She is manipulative and has a mean streak. Her desire to create the best life for herself leads her to make decisions which seem cold blooded. However, the society where she finds herself doesn't give her too many options. Her sex lim ...more
Laura
Mar 07, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Brian Friel's version of Hedda Gabler throws new light on its two female archetypes - Hedda, the beautiful trapped and doomed heroine; and Thea, the less socially admired, yet much freer, new woman. Both women ultimately take their fate into their own hands, in very different ways.


BrokenTune
Jan 30, 2015 BrokenTune rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Why, oh why, do I get the impression that Ibsen didn't like his female protagonists very much?

Or, in other words, is there a specific reason that both Nora (from A Doll's House) and Hedda are written as two rather silly women, both incapable of a rational thought?

Surely, exploring the theme of individuals trapped in situation which they want to escape from has more to offer than half-baked schemes, lies, deception, and artistic illusions?

Ugh...
 Sophia B
Only Ibsen could write Hedda, our dear Hedda Gabler, beloved and hated, she fascinates us and repels us. She. She. She.
Trapped in a home, in a marriage. With child. Trapped in a society where women belong to the home, to the man, to the child(ren). What is there for her to control? What is there for her to live - and to die for? What is the way out of the trap?
Andrea Zuvich
I found the title character to be utterly dislikeable and manipulative. She's bored from before the play even begins and has no redeemable qualities.
Nathan
Dec 09, 2012 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t read plays often - I’m most inclined to read a play in anticipation of seeing a live performance of it. (I have numerous happy memories of sitting in line outside the Public Theatre in New York on a summer morning, reading a Shakespeare play while I waited for the free tickets to see an exquisite production at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park that night.) When I do read plays, I am struck by the way most of them require more proactivity than most literature. One must infer an unders ...more
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Henrik Johan Ibsen was a major Norwegian playwright largely responsible for the rise of modern realistic drama. He is often referred to as the "father of modern drama." Ibsen is held to be the greatest of Norwegian authors and one of the most important playwrights of all time, celebrated as a national symbol by Norwegians.

His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian valu
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“It’s a release to know that in spite of everything a premeditated act of courage is still possible.” 28 likes
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