Hedda Gabler Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following best describes Mrs Elvsted's marriage?

2. From their conversation, what can one infer about Brack and Hedda in Act 2?

3. When Tesman and Brack first invite Lovborg to Brack's party, what does Lovborg do?

4. What is the only thing that Mrs Elvsted knows about the woman whose shadow stands between her and Lovborg?

5. What does Julle give to Tesman before she leaves?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do Tesman and Hedda discuss at the end of Act 1 of HEDDA GABLER that causes severe disappointment to Hedda?

2. The morning after the party at Brack's house, what is the situation like at the Tesman household?

3. What leverage does Brack acquire over Hedda?

4. What do Julle and Tesman allude to when they talk about Hedda "filling out"? How does Hedda feel about it?

5. What is the only thing that Mrs. Elvsted knows about the woman from Lovborg's past?

6. What is Mrs. Elvsted's state of mind when she first enters the Tesman household? Why?

7. Describe the incident with the hat in Act 1 of Hedda Gabler.

8. What does Brack press Hedda to do regarding Lovborg in the first part of Act 3 of HEDDA GABLER? Why?

9. What does Lovborg say the only option open to him now is? How does Hedda respond?

10. Why didn't Tesman tell anyone he had Lovborg's manuscript? What were his plans with it?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What is realism in theatrical performances? Think about all the specific limitations and possibilities in realism.

Part 1: Explain what realism is and how it differs from other genres, such as romanticism.

Part 2: As a form of art, what advantages and disadvantages does realism have? Do you think it might be easier or more complex to perform? What about to produce? To write? Support your arguments with reasons and examples.

Part 3: Does it lend itself to some subject matters more than others? Which ones? Why might an author choose realism to best deliver their message? Make sure to use the example of the play HEDDA GABLER in your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

The importance of perspective is important in the telling of any story. Clearly, Hedda Gabler is told from Hedda's perspective. Write an essay about how the actions and happenings of the play might have looked very different from the perspective of the other characters.

Part 1: Tell how the story, and specifically Hedda's actions, would have looked from the perspective of Lovborg, Tesman, Mrs. Elvsted, and Brack. How different do her actions seem to the different characters?

Part 2: Would any of them have understood her motives? Who, amongst the other characters would be most likely to understand her reasons for the various things she does. Would anyone have not only understood, but appreciated them? Would anyone have simply not understood at all and been entirely confused had they known all her actions?

Part 3: What would the other characters have thought about her final act of taking her own life? Give a brief summary of how Lovborg, Tesman, Mrs. Elvsted, and Brack would react to and view Hedda's suicide.

Essay Topic 3

"Hedda Gabler" is the maiden name of the character we meet in the play as "Hedda Tesman". However, we often hear her referred to by other characters as "Hedda Gabler" and the play itself is named HEDDA GABLER.

Part 1: What do you think was Ibsen's purpose in this? Is he making her connection to her father, or her unmarried life, stronger than her connection to her husband? We see many contrasts between Hedda's maiden life and her married life, are there any parallel changes in her, or, like her name, is she stuck how she was before getting married?

Part 2: Throughout the play we hear people refer to "Hedda Gabler" with deference and admiration. Hedda was clearly successful at what was expected of her before marriage. What happened? Why is she having such a hard time now? Does Hedda have a way to continue her own legacy, or in the play is she merely the shadow of herself?

Part 3: What role has society played in causing this discrepancy in Hedda's life? Does she have many choices that would lead her to happiness or self fulfillment?

(see the answer keys)

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