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. What does Tesman ask Berte to put away for him?

2. What does the letter sent in Act 1 of HEDDA GABLE propose to do?

3. What was Hedda's life like before she married?

4. What does Hedda claim she has to keep her entertained at the end of Act 1 of HEDDA GABLER?

5. When Hedda and Brack are discussing a trip in a compartment on a train, what are they really discussing?

Short Essay Questions

1. Other than her dialogue, what are Hedda's two final actions in the play HEDDA GABLER?

2. What reason does Hedda give Tesman for burning the manuscript?

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

4. What is the financial situation of the newly married couple?

5. What does Tesman say about the unpublished manuscript that Lovborg read to him at Brack's party?

6. In Act 4, what does Brack tell everyone at the Tesman household happened to Lovborg? What did he tell Hedda was the truth when he was alone with her?

7. What does Hedda mean at the end of Act 2 when she tells Mrs. Elvsted that at ten o'clock Lovborg will return "with vine leaves in his hair"?

8. What worry of Tesman's does Lovborg quickly alleviate?

9. What does Hedda learn from Mrs.1Elvsted when they speak alone in Act I of Hedda Gabler that Mrs Elvsted had concealed from Tesman?

10. Despite it's great reception, what does Lovborg say about the book of his that was recently published? What about the next one?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Write an essay about the complexities and challenges of developing the plot in HEDDA GABLER and other similar plays.

Part 1: The entire play happens in one room in the Tesman household over two days. Are there advantages and disadvantages in choosing such a limited stage setting? What difficulties does it present and what might it simplify? What affect does an entire play in one room have on the audience?

Part 2: In the play HEDDA GABLER, Ibsen uses various techniques to make the play flow despite the limited setting and lack of a narrator or asides. How did Ibsen develop his characters? How did he give his audience the information they needed to understand who everyone was? What techniques did he use to help his characters seem natural? How did the action of the play get conveyed to the audience?

Essay Topic 3

In the play HEDDA GABLER, Hedda is distraught about the loss of power she has over her own life. She confesses to marrying because Tesman could take care of her and wasn't ridiculous. The society she lives in gives her few choices about her life, and the only option she has is to marry despite the fact that she quite clearly does not want a family. Write an essay about the roles and responsibilities of society and the individual.

Part 1: Hedda ends up by destroying both a brilliant man and herself. Was she a pawn to an unjust society or careless and self centered?

Part 2: Given the society that Hedda lived in, and her fear of scandal, what options did she have to avoid the loveless marriage she found herself in? What opportunities might there have been for a lady of wealth and intelligence to maintain a semblance of her lifestyle if she chose not to marry?

Part 3: Does this understanding make her character more understandable and tragic? Is Hedda's behavior at all justified by the times and society that she lived in? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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