Men in Hedda Gabler

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In Ibsen’s play “Hedda Gabler,” the title character surrounds her life with three different men, each serving a different purpose. Hedda’s first romantic interest was with Eilert Lovborg. She first met Eilert when he came to visit the General, her father. During these visits, Lovborg would express his deepest confessions. He speaks about, “… the confessions I [Lovborg] used to make- telling you things about myself that no one else knew of then. About the way I’d go out, the drinking, the madness that went on day and night, for days at a time” (Ibsen 265). Eilert found in Hedda a confidant to whom he could tell these stories and be appreciated, rather than reprimanded. Captivatingly, Hedda enjoyed listening to these wild and crazy stories Lovborg shared. Lovborg then questions Hedda by saying, “But tell me, Hedda- the root of that bond between us, wasn’t it love?” (265). Hedda frankly responds with no. She explains that those stories gave her a “glimpse of a world” that she was forbidden to know anything about. In a way, Hedda, therefore, enjoys living vicariously through Eilert’s stories. She is curious to live the careless and wild life of a man. The second male in her life is Judge Brack. One can argue that he is the male Hedda and her social and psychological equal. For example, Hedda has the manipulative power to make people confess. Judge Brack is the only character that makes Hedda confess. She confesses to Brack about the trick she played with Aunt Julie’s hat. Similar to Hedda, Brack dislikes traditional values like marriage. Both Hedda and Brack are people who enjoy taking action. Even though it seems Hedda has or had chemistry with these two men, she cannot become intimately involved with them. She cannot control or manage their life. Therefore, she marries George Tesman for hardly romantic reasons. From the beginning of the play, we see Hedda Gabbler disrespect George mainly because he is not of the same class as Hedda. Although George wants happiness...
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