Ibsen And Strindberg Hedda Gabler And Miss Julie – Сustom Literature essay

Sample essay topic, essay writing: Ibsen And Strindberg - Hedda Gabler And Miss Julie - 1070 words

.. ect result of Strindberg's personal attitudes. She needs Jean to tell her to kill herself and even goes so far as to thank him for giving her the permission. Strindberg's Miss Julie is a direct depiction of his own thoughts. It is, in a sense, displaying Darwin's 'Survival of the fittest' theory, The fittest being the male species according to Strindberg. It shows the dramatic rise of Jean, a servant, and it's corresponding effects on "Her Ladyship" Miss Julie, Who was powerful by way of her social status, but reduced because of her gender.

There are definite similarities between Miss Julie and the title character in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. The main difference, though, is that Hedda does not ever allow herself to be dominated, and maintains till the end that she an equal to man. This is why I believe that Ibsen wrote Hedda Gabler in reply to Strindberg's misogynist depiction of a gender war in Miss Julie. Upon reading Hedda Gabler, (I examined three versions of this play, one from the "Drama Classics" [D. C] series, an adaptation by John Osborne [Osborne] and a translation by Nicholas Rundall [Rundall]) I was struck immediately by the status Hedda held whenever she was on stage. As soon as she made her entrance, it was clear that she had all the power within the household. I could see that Tesman felt himself very lucky to have Hedda as his wife, and wanted to please her

Hedda seemed to me to be a very cold, snobby character. She does not possess a sense of humour, but rather a sort of conniving wit. She rudely commented on Miss Tesman's new hat, and how she thought it was the maids. As a result, I came to dislike Hedda as she continues to have fun at the expense of others. The reason, it seems, for Hedda's apparent rudeness is the fact that she strives against the constraints of the narrow role society allows her (as we see in Strindberg's Miss Julie) and wishes to satisfy her ambitious intellect. As it becomes a reality to Hedda that she cannot do as she desires, she becomes destructive.

The daughter of a General, Hedda is a natural leader and does not easily fit the mould of a housewife. She emphasises this by constantly denying her pregnancy whenever Jorgen mentions it (that is, mentions it indirectly, eg. saying how she is rounded). She longs for control over everyone she comes in contact with. It seems to me the only reason she married Tesman was because she would have financial security as Tesman had an impending professorship, whilst at the same time still have the ability to dominate a dull academic. She gets power by manipulating her husband, and at one point even tells Mrs Elvsted; "I want the power to shape a mans destiny".

This is clearly the opposite to Strindberg's Miss Julie, where Julie had the desire to be dominated by a man. Hedda becomes jealous of Mrs Elvsted's relationship with Tasman's rival Lovborg, which is intellectual and creates a "child" in the form of a manuscript. I find it interesting how she gains power over Lovborg when he comes to visit. Lovborg recalls the past; "Did you feel love for me? A flicker..a spark..for me?" (D. Cp.57), but this flirting does not have an effect on Hedda, even if she would like to respond, she spurns his advances, thus giving her superiority over Lovborg, much as she does with Judge Brack, her confidant. He tells how Hedda has always had power; "And Hedda, the things I told you! Things about myself.

No one else knew, then. My drinking..days and nights on end. I sat there and toldyou. Days and nights. Oh Hedda, what gave you such power? To makeme tell you..things like that?" (D. C p.58)It is Hedda's jealousy for Lovborg and Mrs Elvsted's creative relationship which causes her to become destructive and destroy the manuscript, rather than see it back into Lovborg's hands, with the ever powerless Jorgen believing she did it for his sake.

As she is burning the manuscript she displays her resentment towards the relationship;"Look, Thea. I'm burning your baby, Thea. Little Curly hair! Your baby..yours and his. The baby. Burning the baby." (D. C p.88)I struggled to fully understand why she urged Lovborg to kill himself, but in this context I can only speculate that it was to further consolidate the end of the relationship between Miss Elvsted and Lovborg, of which she was so envious. By the end of the play, Hedda has relinquished all of her power. Lovborg's death backfired and Hedda ended up losing the dominance over Jorgen, as he and Mrs Elvsted devote their lives to resurrecting Lovborg's manuscript and Mrs Elvsted hopes to inspire Tesman as she did Lovborg.

Brack then establishes power over her through her fear of scandal, blackmailing her in a sense to agree to his terms of living. He could destroy her at any moment by releasing the information that the gun which killed Lovborg belonged to Hedda. She finds this thought unbearable;"I'm still in your power. At your disposal. A slave.

I won't have it. I won't" (D. C p.105)So Hedda, unable to live under the control of others, plays a final tune on the piano before taking one of her fathers pistols and shooting herself. Although both Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Strindberg's Miss Julie ended with the suicide of the leading character, the circumstances by which the suicides occurred were most different, and particularly in the case of Miss Julie, the writers personal thoughts were prominent in the outcome. Julie ended her life after a deep underlying yearning to be dominated by Jean and in the end displays her inferiority by begging Jean to give her permission to end her life. This is unlike the circumstances in Hedda Gabler, where Hedda maintains her dignity and status to the very end.

Unlike Julie, she cannot bear the thought of being under the control of others. This is why I speculate that Hedda Gabler could very well have been written by Ibsen in direct reply and contradiction to Strindberg's Miss Julie. I am sure that Henrik Ibsen would have found a lot to disagree upon when it came to the ideas and philosophies contained within Strindberg's Miss Julie, not to mention the plays preface.

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