Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Essay

1347 Words Apr 10th, 2016 6 Pages
“But God have mercy—People just don’t act that way,” Judge Brack exclaimed in the closing line of Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler (1538). Ibsen’s use of this closing line gives the play an abrupt ending that, along with the unexpected suicide of titular character Hedda Gabler, can leave readers with more questions than answers. The most outstanding question of all could very well just be, “Why?” At first glance (or first read), Hedda Gabler’s suicide is so sudden and unexpected that readers are left feeling lost and confused. However, a second, more careful reading of Hedda Gabler demonstrates the subtle hints Ibsen left for readers searching for an explanation. Mary Kay Norseng said in her analysis of Gabler’s death that, “Hedda Gabler commits suicide, "un geste” ["an act”] which, as Camus wrote, "se prépare dans le silence du Coeur” (16) ["is prepared within the silence of the heart” (4)]” (7). Hedda’s suicide was “an act prepared in the silence of her heart.” So, what does this mean? To understand what Camus meant by this, we need to take a closer look at the statement itself. Both “silence” and “heart” are deeply personal word choices. In silence, one can only rely on their own thoughts, and, by “heart,” Camus is clearly referring to one’s personal feelings instead of a more literal, biological definition of the word. So, “in the silence of her heart,” was intended to emphasize that Hedda’s “act” was prepared without the knowledge of those around her (i.e., in…

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