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Hedda Gabler
     

Hedda Gabler

4.3 7
by Henrik Ibsen, Jon Robin Baitz (Adapted by), Susan Faludi (Foreword by)
 

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In 1890, Henrik Ibsen premiered Hedda Gabler, a play questioning the role of women in Victorian society. Some audiences have viewed Gabler as a woman driven to desperation simply because her world has turned out to be less charmed than she hoped. For others, she is a victim of her times, unwilling to devote herself, as was expected of her, to the duties of home.

Overview


In 1890, Henrik Ibsen premiered Hedda Gabler, a play questioning the role of women in Victorian society. Some audiences have viewed Gabler as a woman driven to desperation simply because her world has turned out to be less charmed than she hoped. For others, she is a victim of her times, unwilling to devote herself, as was expected of her, to the duties of home. Jon Robin Baitz has brushed away the cobwebs, and he serves as an ambassador from Ibsen's age to our own, preserving the intensity of the original but translating it into a spare, contemporary idiom. His adaptation provides an opportunity to understand the play through a lens shaped by feminism and a theatrical tradition beginning with Beckett. Trapped by the conventions of her age, Gabler is both a martyr and a female incarnation of Vladimir and Estragon, longing for a salvation that will likely never arrive.

Editorial Reviews

NY Times
...when else have you seen a HEDDA GABLER that moved with such compelling force and fluency...? Jon Robin Baitz's loosened-up, colloquial translation is perfect...
Variety
...[demystifies] Ibsen's daunting antiheroine...[cuts] away the grande-dame mannerisms and aura of theatricality that the character tends to trail along with those sweeping 19th-century skirts...[a] nimble adaptation...
NY Post
...[a] fluently idiomatic adaptation by Jon Robin Baitz...
Connecticut Post
...by far the best play of the season...HEDDA GABLER has so many layers. The tragedy plays upon the irony, which acts upon fully drawn characters to make up a thoroughly modern work...You won't see a better production of this fascinating play...
The Record-Journal
When Henrik Ibsen...wrote HEDDA GABLER 110 years ago, a woman's place in society was far different from what it is today. The fact that this psychological drama plays as well now as it did a century ago is apt tribute to the sheer genius of the playwright.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802138064
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
112
Sales rank:
282,803
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) was a Norwegian playwright and poet whose realistic, symbolic and often controversial plays revolutionised European theatre. He is widely regarded as the father of modern drama. His acclaimed plays include A Doll's House, Ghosts, Hedda Gabler, An Enemy of the People.

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Hedda Gabler 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the view of a Theater major, this translation and adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's 'Hedda Gabler' allows an audience (and a reader, for that matter) to follow all the intricate little jokes and personality quirks. Unlike other translations, the way each character speaks is distinct from all the others. The words aren't the only thing translated from the Norwegian; the nuances and attitudes are as well. George Tesman is amusingly obtuse, and his Auntie Julia isn't simply the sweet old lady she appears to be. Judge Brack and Hedda can share some wonderful inside jokes without the rest of the characters noticing. Eilert Lovborg isn't just bipolar in his actions but also in his words. And unlike many other translations, it is actually possible to be sympathetic to Hedda's situation and not simply loath her for her attitude. One of Ibsen's greatest talents is his way with words: the characters are forever saying one thing and meaning something entirely different. As 'Hedda Gabler' is a play, it is not meant to be simply read; it is meant to be seen, and Jon Robin Baitz certainly makes it easier for the actors to get across the message Ibsen was trying to send. And studying the play intensively during rehearsals and production of 'Hedda Gabler' really make it easier to appreciate exactly how much is going on. It takes much more than just a reading to understand 'Hedda': at its finest, it takes a really stellar cast, especially in the title role, to pull it off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No godmodding.<br> No weird-ass drama.<br> No killing unless necessary.<p> Done. Boom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Henrik Ibsen¿s ¿Hedda Gabler¿ traces the final fall of the play¿s antagonist, Hedda Gabbler. In Act I, we are first introduced to George¿s Aunt Julia, who is telling their long-time servant, Breta, that she must move to George and Mrs. Hedda Tessman¿s house, to act as their servant. Breta is distressed over this, for she fears that she will not be a good enough servant to Hedda, being General Gabler¿s daughter, and already accustomed to such fine and particular treatment. The fact that Breta is already distressed implies that Hedda may be a difficult woman to please. Hedda¿s ill treatment towards Berta throughout the act, on top of her outward criticism of Aunt Julia¿s hat, gives us insight to how truly impossible she is to please. She is rude to human beings in general, especially of a lower class, and has a flagrant disregard for her husband, by insulting his aunt¿s hat, which Julia bought to try and impress her. Hedda then manipulates Mrs. Elvstead into divulging all of her secrets of her association with Ejlert Lovborg, his whereabouts, and present situation. Hedda uses that information to then manipulate Lovborg, outwardly embarrassing both, having no shame. Hedda is frequently saying one thing, but meaning another. Because George is not as smart or quick, and also refuses to believe Hedda capable of thinking such sinister thoughts, she quickly covers up her true intentions. Due to boredom in her marriage, boredom in general, her discontent at an affair between Mrs. Elvstead and Ejlert Lovborg, and overall hostility, she encourages Lovborg to take his life in a ¿beautiful manner¿. Obviously, Hedda cares little about his life; we wonder if she cares about anyone¿s life at all, considering the tragic move she makes at the end of the play. Henrik Ibsen¿s ¿Hedda Gabler¿ lets us into the mind of a true psychopath, as we witness her every deranged move and thought, and are left with quite an unsettling feeling.