Literature clearly the lacking womanly maternal love and

Literature Review:

The play was 1st
launched in 1891; it faced great criticism and scandals. Some critics called it
as immoral and disreputable. The play had greatly shocked audience. While some
critics were impressed by Ibsen’s originality and courage. The play was poorly received
at the Moscow Art Theatre. In 1899 the play was reviewed. After watching the
rehearsals for the 1899 production Chekhov made the remark,

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                                     “Ibsen is no playwright!”                 Nilsson (1899)

The Danish critic
George Brandes found her

                                    “A true type of degeneration (incapable) of
yielding herself, body and             soul,
to the man she loves.”                                            George Brandes (1891)

Hedda is married to
George Tesman but still we find that instead of using her husband’s name as
women do after marriage, she is still attaching her father’s name with her. It
shows clearly the lacking womanly maternal love and respect for her husband.
The use of her maiden name symbolizes her independence from her husband and
marriage. Unlike obedient and loving wives Hedda is in constant want of escape
from this matrimonial bliss. Even Ibsen himself claims that Hedda is not her
husband’s wife in true sense; rather she is her father’s daughter still after

On June 19, 1890 Ibsen
wrote from Munich to the Swedish poet, Count Carl Soilsky: International Review
of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2013), 176-185 179                    “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.”                                                                                      Ibsen,
Letter 217 (Dec 4, 1890)

 In the Merriam Webster Encyclopedia of
Literature the portray of Hedda Gabbler is given as:

“Hedda Gabbler is a
selfish cynical woman bored by her marriage to the Scholar George Tesman.”                                (The Merriam
Webster Encyclopedia of Literature)

Joseph Wood thought

                             “Hedda was an evil woman”                                 Joseph Wood, (1953)

 Hedda is in an utmost desire to exercise her
power others. She is extremely jealous and likes to hold power over others.
Women should be timid, obedient and loving towards their family, but we find
Hedda lacks all these characteristics. She is mean and always finds some ways
to hurt and torture others.

 Caroline Mayerson gave the following views:

 “….she Hedda may be held
accountable for her behaviour. But she is spiritually sterile. Her yearning for
self realization through exercise of her natural endowments is in conflict with
her enslavement to a narrow standard of conduct.”

Caroline Mayerson (p. 131-138, 1965)

Hedda is inwardly
coward. She is always afraid of scandals. In contrast, of her Thea is loyal and
courageous in disclosing her love for Eilert Lovborg openly and helps him in his
rehabilitation. Hedda ends up destroying others as well as her own life in useless
blunders. Caroline Mayerson concludes her essay on the play:

                          “Her colossal egotism, her lack of
self-knowledge, her cowardice, renders her search for fulfilment but a
succession of futile blunders which culminate in the supreme futility of death.
Like Peer Gynt she is fit only for the ladle of the button-moulder; she fails
to realize a capacity either for great good or for great evil.”

 Caroline Mayerson, (p. 131-138,

F.L.Lucas claims Hedda
to be a twentieth century New Woman,

                            “…the idle,
emancipated woman–and what she is to do with her emancipation, the devil only
knows.”                                                 F.L.
Lucas (1962)

The mere surface study
may lead some supporters to think that the play is a promoter of Feminism, but
use of the two symbols actually weakens the feminist elements.

                     “Boredom, the “scourge . .
. unknown among revolutionists” and her cowardice poisons her potential.”                                                                     Bernard Shaw (1913)

Elizabeth Robins
claimed that a relationship does exist

                                    “…between Hedda’s inarticulate rage at her
inability to control her own destiny and the suffragists’ indignation at not
having their rights recognized.”

 Penny (March, 1996)