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Hedda Gabler Essay, Research Paper

Henrik Ibsen s Hedda Gabler, creates three major

triangulations between characters. These relationships are developed

throughout the play and it is the breakdown in the relationships with

Hedda that lead to the dramatic closure of the play. Hedda initiates

one of the triangulations in an attempt to have power over a human

being s fate . Judge Brack creates the second an unsuccessful parallel

to Hedda s own power advancing creation. Jorgan Tesman and Thea

Elvested form the last triangulation in an attempt to rebirth Ejlert s

manuscript. The first triangular relationship is between Hedda Gabler,

Ejlert Lovborg and Thea Elvested. Hedda created this relationship,

controlling it by relying heavily on her influence over Ejlert. Hedda s

power over Ejlert are hinted at when Hedda says So I, poor thing have

no power over you at all? and Ejlert replies Not where that s

concerned. Suggesting that Hedda does have power over him in other

areas. Tension arises when Hedda becomes jealous of his newfound

success with out her, she also wishes she was his inspiration. The

relationship between Hedda and Thea is hostile on Hedda s part because

Hedda is jealous of Thea, wishing to be the Red headed, pistol wielding

woman standing between Ejlert Lovborg an me (Thea). Hedda is jealous

of Thea s beauty, threatening to .. burn it off (Thea s hair) , and

her influence over Ejlert and his work. The only way Hedda can control

Thea is by controlling Ejlert and due to Thea s loyalty and devotion

consequently control Thea. Thea and Ejlert appear to be the perfect

combination but tension arises between them as a result of Hedda

burning their child . The second triangulation created by Judge Brack.

It involves Hedda, Jorgan Tesman and Judge Brack. In this triangle,

Brack tries unsuccessfully to play a role parallel to Hedda s in the

previous triangle. Brack and Hedda are from the same social circle,

giving Brack an advantage over Jorgan with Hedda, Hedda accepting him

more readily as a result. Jorgan is in indebted to Brack but no

conflict occurs between these two characters for two reasons Brack is

not looking for a commitment to Hedda and Jorgan is blinded by naivete.

The relationship Brack is working towards is purely plutonic, Hedda

tempts him but is unwilling to commit to this relationship. Hedda keeps

the sexual tension high and doesn t end her relationship with Brack

completely because she believes that as long as she can keep him

interested, and at the same time not submit to him, she can stay on top

of the power struggle with Brack and manipulate him as well. The final

triangle was mutually formed between Jorgan and Thea to rebirth the

child of Ejlert and Thea. This triangle includes Jorgan, Thea and

Hedda. Hedda is jealous of Thea s Influence over Jorgan and is angry

because she is gradually loosing her power over Jorgan because of

Thea s influence. Hedda and Jorgan obviously had a marriage purely for

convenience. Jorgan is not intimate, on his honeymoon he was rummaging

in libraries and copying out old parchments . Hedda also denies any

feelings for Jorgan refusing the word love saying don t use that

sentimental word , and telling Aunt Julle to be Quiet when she

mentions anything referring to the baby that links Jorgan and Hedda. Up

until Act Four all of these triangles were controlled by Hedda. Hedda

controls the first triangle by controlling Ejlert and using alcohol on

him to maintain superiority over Thea by lowering Ejlert s social

standing. Hedda controls the second triangle by not allowing Brack the

relationship he yearns for. The third relationship is not active until

the end of Act Four. The dramatic closure of the play is not caused by

the triangles themselves but the breakdown of Hedda s power base as a

result of the conflicts between Hedda and the other characters. After

Hedda s prompting do it beautifully Ejlert commits suicide.

Immediately Hedda is unable to control the first triangle, Ejlert is

dead and Thea is released from the power hold Hedda had over her.

Without the first triangle, Hedda turns to the second for her control,

but is shocked when she discovers that Brack knows it was her gun that

killed Ejlert. Brack abuses his power and uses the information to try

to blackmail Hedda into the relationship he has been pushing for. Hedda

cannot accept the sexual relationship, nor can she refuse, Brack has

won the fight for power supremacy in his triangle. Thea and Jorgan

decide to recreate the manuscript together, Hedda loses power over

Jorgan and the third triangle. Hedda decides to solve her problem of no

power by shooting herself in the temple. Hedda says I want, for once

in my life, to have power over a human being s fate. Hedda still has

control over her unborn child s life. Ironically, by killing herself,

Hedda destroys the baby and her potential power over it. By killing the

baby Hedda, also destroys the link between herself and Jorgan the only

person who could/would have saved her. In the destruction of her baby

she destroys her future, people will remember Ejlert because of his

child but there is nothing left to remember Hedda by. The dramatic

closure is caused by the destruction of Hedda s power base in the form

of triangular relationships; this destruction is caused by her own

manipulation of the triangles.


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