- Hedda Gabler
name = Hedda Gabler
caption = title page of the 1890 text
genre = Drama
setting = Joege Tesman's Villa, Kristiania, Norway; 1890s
subject = a newlywed struggles with an existence she finds devoid of excitement and enchantment
premiere = 1891
place = Königliches Residenz-Theater
orig_lang = Norwegian
ibdb_id = 4290
"Hedda Gabler" is a play first published in 1890 by Norwegian
playwright Henrik Ibsen. The play premiered in 1891 in Germanyto negative reviews, the play "Hedda Gabler" has subsequently gained recognition as a classic of realism, nineteenth century theatre, and world drama. A 1902 production was a major sensation on Broadway starring Minnie Maddern Fiskeand following its initial limited run was revived with the actress the following year.
The character of Hedda is one of the great dramatic roles in
theatre, the "female Hamlet," and some portrayals have been very controversial. [cite news |first=Michael| last=Billington | title=Hedda Gabler, Almeida, London | url=http://arts.guardian.co.uk/critic/review/0,1169,1439784,00.html | work=The Guardian | date=17 March 2005| accessdate=2008-10-05] Depending on the interpretation, Hedda may be portrayed as an idealistic heroinefighting society, a victim of circumstance, a prototypical feminist, or a manipulative villain.
Hedda's actual name in the play is Hedda Tesman; Gabler is her maiden name. About the title, Ibsen wrote:"My intention in giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda as a personality is to be regarded rather as her father's daughter than her husband's wife." [cite web | author=Tracy Sanders | title=Lecture Notes: Hedda Gabler - Fiend or Heroine | url=http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/staffhome/trsanders/units/modern_drama/hedda_gabler.html | publisher=Australian Catholic University | date=2006 | accessdate=2008-10-05]
* Jörgen Tesman - The husband of Hedda, an academic
* Hedda Gabler - The eponymous heroine, a 'kept woman'
* Miss Juliana Tesman (Aunt Ju Ju) - Aunt of George
* Mrs. Thea Elvsted - Friend of Hedda and George, confidant of Eilert and divorcé
* Judge Brack - Friends of the Tesman's and womanizer
* Eilert Löevborg - George's academic rival and Hedda's true love
* Berta - Servant to the Tesman's and to George as a child
The action takes place in a villa in
Kristiania(now Oslo). Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic General, has just returned from her honeymoon with Tesman, an aspiring young academic — reliable, but not brilliant, who has combined research with their honeymoon. It becomes clear in the course of the play that she has never loved him, but has married him for reasons pertaining to the boring nature of her life, and it is suggested, but repudiated that she may be pregnant. The reappearance of George Tesman's academic rival, Ejlert Lövborg, throws their lives into disarray. Lövborg, a writer, is also an alcoholic who has wasted his talent until now. Thanks to a relationship with Hedda's old schoolmate, Thea Elvsted (who has left her husband for him), he shows signs of rehabilitation, and has just completed a bestseller in the same field as Tesman. The critical success of his recently published work transforms Lövborg into a threat to Tesman, as Lövborg becomes a competitor for the university professorship which Tesman had been counting on. The couple are financially overstretched and Tesman now tells Hedda that he will not be able to finance the regular entertaining or luxurious housekeeping that Hedda had been looking forward to. Upon meeting Lövborg however, the couple discover that he has no intention of competing for professorship, but rather has spent the last few years labouring with Mrs. Elvsted over what he considers to be his masterpiece, the 'sequel' of his recently published work
Hedda, apparently jealous of Mrs. Elvsted's influence over Ejlert , hopes to come between them. Tesman, returns home from a party and reveals that he found the manuscript of Ejlert Lövborg's great work, which the latter has lost while drunk. When Hedda next sees Lövborg, he confesses to her, despairingly, that he has lost the manuscript. Instead of telling him that the manuscript has been found, Hedda encourages him to commit
suicide, giving him a pistol. She then burns the manuscript. She tells her husband she has destroyed it to secure their future.
When the news comes that Lövborg has indeed killed himself, Tesman and Mrs. Elvsted are determined to try to reconstruct his book from what they already know. Hedda is shocked to discover, from the sinister Judge Brack, that Ejlert's death, in a brothel, was messy and probably accidental (this "ridiculous and vile" death contrasts the "beautiful and free" one that Hedda had imagined for him). Worse, Brack knows where the pistol came from. This means that he has power over her, which he will use to insinuate himself into the household (there is a strong implication that he will try to seduce Hedda). Leaving the others, she goes into her smaller room and ends the play by shooting herself in the temple.
Joseph Wood Krutchmakes a connection between "Hedda Gabler" and Freudwhose first work on psychoanalysiswas published almost a decade later. Hedda is one of the first fully developed neuroticheroines of literature. [cite book | last=Krutch | first=Joseph Wood | title=Modernism in Modern Drama: A Definition and an Estimate | pages=p. 11| location=Ithaca | publisher=Cornell University Press | year=1953 | oclc=255757831] By that Krutch means that Hedda is neither logical nor insane in the old sense of being random and unaccountable. Her aims and her motives have a secret personal logic of their own. She gets what she wants, but what she wants is not anything that the normal usually admit, publicly at least, to be desirable. One of the significant things that such a character implies is the premise that there is a secret, sometimes unconscious, world of aims and methods — one might almost say a secret system of values — that is often much more important than the rational one.
Joan Templeton makes a connection] between Hedda Gabler and Hjördis from "
The Vikings at Helgeland", since the arms-bearing, horse-riding Hedda, married to a passive man she despises, indeed resembles the " eaglein a cage" that Hjördis terms herself. [cite book | last=Templeton | first=Joan | title=Ibsen's Women | pages=p. 229 | location=Cambridge | publisher=Cambridge University Press | year=2000 | isbn=0521590396]
The text "Hedda Gabler" by Ibsen, who intended his work to be read as much as performed, was shunned in its time over the character Hedda Gabler, as she did not fit into the basic ideological places of society and was denounced by many critics as a demon in a human form or inhuman, as no one could ever approve of a woman in a relationship without love or one involved in love triangle, which would be betraying her husband.
The gun in the text is symbolic in that Hedda Gabler does not fit into the class as she plays with toys that are highly unacceptable in society. It also plays a role in showing the binary opposition status between herself and Tesman as she is displayed with traits of masculinity as Tesman serves her drinks.
The play was first performed in
Munich, Germany, at the Königliches Residenz-Theater on 31 January 1891, with Clara Heeseas Hedda. The first British performance was at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, on 20 April the same year, starring Elizabeth Robins, who directed it with Marion Lea, who played Thea. Robins also played Hedda in the first US production, which opened on March 30 1898at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York. [cite web | title=Hedda Gabler: Play, Drama | url=http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?id=4290 | work=The Internet Broadway Database| date=2008 | accessdate=2008-10-08]
Many popular actresses have played the role of Hedda: they include
Eleanora Duse, Alla Nazimova, Asta Nielsen, Eva Le Gallienne, Anne Meacham, Ingrid Bergman, Jill Bennett, Janet Suzman, Diana Rigg, Isabelle Huppert, Kate Burton, Kelly McGillis, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Annette Bening, Judy Davis, and Cate Blanchettfor which she won the 2005 Helpmann Award (Australia) for Best Female Actor in a Play. In 2005, a production by Richard Eyre, starring Eve Best, at the Almeida Theatrein London has been well-received, and later transferred for an 11½ week run at the Duke of York'son St Martin's Lane. The play was staged at Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theaterstarring actress Martha Plimpton, who is credited with bringing renewed modern interest to the play. British playwright John Osbornewrote an adaptation in 1972, and in 1991 famed playwright Judith Thompsonpresented an inspired adaptation of the play at the Shaw Festival. Thompson adapted the play a second time in 2005 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatrein Toronto, Canada, setting the first half of the play in the nineteenth century, and the second half during the present day. Early in 2006, the play gained critical success at the West Yorkshire Playhousein Leeds and at the Liverpool Playhouse, directed by Matthew Lloyd with Gillian Kearneyin the lead role.
The play has been adapted for screen a number of times, from the silent film era of the early 1910s to the present day in several languages. [cite web | title=Title Search: Hedda Gabler | url=http://www.imdb.com/find?s=tt&q=Hedda+Gabler&x=14&y=6 | work=The Internet Movie Database| date=2008 | accessdate=2008-09-18] In 1975,
Glenda Jacksonwas nominated for an Academy Award as leading actress for her role in a British film adaptation, titled "Hedda". A more recent American film version (2004) relocated the story to a community of young academics in Washington State.
Awards and nominations
* 1992 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival
* 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival;Nominations
* 2005 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival
* eo icon
* [http://www.lortel.org/LLA_archive/index.cfm?search_by=show&title=Hedda%20Gabler "Hedda Gabler"] at the Internet off-Broadway Database
* [http://www.colourhousetheatre.co.uk/mainwebsite/showdetails.asp?showid=158 Hedda Gabler - Colour House Theatre Production 2007]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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Hedda Gabler — Hẹdda Gabler, Schauspiel von H. Ibsen (Erstausgabe 1890, Uraufführung 31. 1. 1891 in München) … Universal-Lexikon
Hedda Gabler — /hed euh gab leuhr/ a play (1890) by Henrik Ibsen. * * * … Universalium
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Hedda Gabler — /hed euh gab leuhr/ a play (1890) by Henrik Ibsen … Useful english dictionary
Hedda Gabler (film) — Hedda Gabler may refer to:* Hedda Gabler (1917 film), silent, United States * Hedda Gabler (1919 film), silent, Italy * Hedda Gabler (1924 film), silent, Germany * Hedda Gabler (1954 film), United States, The United States Steel Hour * Hedda… … Wikipedia
Hedda (película) — Título Hedda (película) Hedda Hedda es una adaptación cinematográfica de 1975 Hedda Gabler de Henrik Ibsen. Está protagonizada por Peter Eyre, Glenda Jackson y Patrick Stewart y dirigida por Trevor Nunn. Esta fue la primera (y hasta ahora el… … Wikipedia Español
Hedda — Drame de Trevor Nunn, d après la pièce de Henrik Ibsen Hedda Gabler, avec Glenda Jackson, Peter Eyre, Patrick Ewart. Pays: Grande Bretagne Date de sortie: 1974 Technique: couleurs Durée: 1 h 45 Résumé Hedda, jeune mariée, s… … Dictionnaire mondial des Films