Minor Characters in Hedda Gabler

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In Henrik Ibsen’s tightly constructed drama, Hedda Gabler, each character’s traits provide and contrast crucial insight into every other character. Ibsen’s statements about the tragedy of society’s conventions condemn the constant power struggle in a world of superficiality. Hedda and Brack represent the battle for superiority and reflect Ibsen’s disparaging tone and loss of faith in the veracity of human existence. Hedda Gabler dramatizes the seductive appeal for power, challenging social norms through the weakness of Ibsen’s minor characters that conform, and the conflicting strength of the antagonist who does not. The first scene opens upon Tesman and Aunt Julie, who have assisted in planning and making ready the house for Hedda, and it at once becomes evident that Hedda has had no voice in the arrangement. Everything has been prepared for her as a case for its jewel. She is to occupy it, to fill it even if does not wish to. All of this is not what pleases Hedda which is made evident as her indifference is further emphasized as she moves through the room with irresponsible touches and complains of excess light. The floundering Jorgen Tesman is an insecure wreck, enforced by his apologetic phrase “Eh?” Ibsen firmly depicts Tesman’s desperation by arranging the character’s language in a consistent fearful tone revealing His constant bombardment of the passage with frantic queries about his perceived competition, Ejlert Lovborg, also permeates a sense of fear; already having idolized Hedda as the “loveliest thing of all” even before her entrance into the play. The author creates a strong image of the mundane man, illuminated by Tesman’s obvious inferiority and pathetic idolization of those above him, supporting Ibsen’s stance that the traditional values of society undermine human existence. Tesman’s language is arranged to provoke the reader to question his relationship with Hedda as he obsessively paints her in an angelic light, supported in the stage...
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