Hedda Gabler

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Ibsen uses props in the play to reveal information about the characters that would usually go unnoticed or would be more difficult to understand. The six props I am going to be talking about are the slippers, the hat, the portrait, the photo album, the manuscript and the pistols. In act one Aunt Julle produces Tesman"'"s old slippers, much to Tesman"'"s delight. He wants Hedda to examine them but she is not interested. The slippers help Ibsen to prove the status of the marriage between Hedda and Tesman, which Hedda calls "'"excruciatingly boring"'". When aunt Julle gives the slippers to Tesman he seems very excited and wants to show Hedda them. He says to Hedda '"'My old morning shoes. My slippers –look!'"' and Hedda replies with "'"Oh yes. I remember you often spoke of them while we were away.'"' Tesman then says "'"Yes I missed them dreadfully"'". When on a honeymoon it is expected to be an enjoyable and intimate time and yet it seems Tesman was more interested in his slippers than Hedda. Tesman"'"s use of the word "'"dreadfully"'" suggests an extreme longing for the slippers which should be the last thing on his mind during a honeymoon. The slippers also are symbolic of Tesman"'"s relationship with his aunts. Hedda reacts to the slippers with rejection because she feels this symbolizes the relationship between Tesman and his aunts, which is a symbol of his bourgeois life. When Tesman says "'"Oh, you can"'"t imagine how many memories are worked into them."'" It shows how Tesman holds his family in high value and is still treated like a child by his aunts. Just a simple pair of slippers can excite him so much. Hedda responds to this with "'"Not particularly for me."'" This shows her lack of desire to be a part of the Tesman family. Tesman"'"s aunts seem to be very protective over Tesman and the slippers can symbolize this over protectiveness. Hedda"'"s disregard for Tesman"'"s feelings is illustrated by her refusal to look at his beloved slippers. In act one Hedda interrupts the conversation between Aunt Julle and Tesman with a comment on the ugliness of Aunt Jules hat, which Hedda takes to be the maids. This demonstrates Hedda"'"s control over her space and home, she says, '"'Look there she"'"s left her old hat behind on the chair.'"' She says this in disgust trying to make it seem she believes it is Berte"'"s hat when in fact it is Aunt Julle"'"s hat that she had decided to wear especially for Hedda, but Hedda criticizes it. Hedda later reveals she actually knew it was Aunt Julle"'"s hat. This provides another example of Hedda"'"s stubborn cold-hearted personality. After showing some signs of remorse towards Tesman, Hedda says '"'But what extraordinary manners, to throw her hat down in the drawing room. One doesn"'"t do that kind of thing.'"' This shows how Hedda feels she must do what is expected in society. It also sets the stage for Hedda"'"s fear of scandal, and the reason why she refuses to leave her marriage for Brack or Lovbourg. The instance with the hat again proves the loving family relationship between Aunt Julle and Tesman. After Hedda had insulted Aunt Julle"'"s hat Tesman states '"'And a beautiful hat it is too, really grand.'"' Tesman is attempting to comfort Aunt Julle after she has been insulted.

General Gabler"'"s portrait is a prominent feature in the set and dominates the set which symbolizes General Gabler as a dominant figure in Hedda"'"s life. General Gabler"'"s social status and values are implicit in his uniform because Generals in Norwegian society are members of the aristocracy. This shows the high class Hedda is from as General Gabler"'"s daughter. In act two Hedda gets left to entertain Lovbourg while Brack and Tesman go off to have a drink of punch. They begin a discussion about their past and when Tesman re-enters from the other room; they pretend to be talking about the photo album from Hedda and Tesman"'"s honeymoon. This photo album brings intimacy between Hedda and...
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