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 was the basis of the close friendship shared by Lovborg and Mrs Elvsted?

2. What role did Ejlert Lovborg play in the Elvsted household prior to the happenings in the play Hedda Gabler?

3. In the second act, what do we learn about the hat incident?

4. What did Julle buy in honor of Hedda?

5. What are Mrs Elvsted's plans for the future?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Where did Tesman find Lovborg's manuscript and why didn't he return it at once?

3. Why does Lovborg not accompany Mrs. Elvsted home as promised the day before?

4. In Act 2 of HEDDA GABLER, Hedda tells Lovborg that her not daring to shoot him when their previous friendship ended was an act of cowardice, for fear of a scandal, but that it was not her greatest act of cowardice that evening. What do you think she is alluding to as her greatest act of cowardice?

5. Who was Hedda Gabler before she married Tesman? What was her life like?

6. How did Hedda enjoy her honeymoon with Tesman?

7. What does Hedda do to Brack when he approaches at the very beginning of Act 2 of HEDDA GABLER?

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

9. What does Hedda tell Lovborg that other people may think if Lovborg continued to refuse to drink at all?

10. Tesman foresees many months of work to reconstruct the manuscript. How does he recommend they all arrange themselves while the work is going on?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the play HEDDA GABLER, Lovborg is inspired by Mrs. Elvsted and reforms his life for her. Despite this, he says she is "stupid" in interpersonal matters that he discusses freely with Hedda. Indeed, Mrs. Elvsted, like Tesman, seems blind to much of the social happenings going on around her. Write an essay about these four characters and discuss how they inspire and motivate each other.

Part 1: Why is Hedda inspired by Lovborg? Why does Hedda long for influence over Lovborg but doesn't care for the influence she has over Tesman? How are Hedda and Lovborg alike? How are they different?

Part 2: How are Mrs. Elvsted and Tesman alike? In what way is this a strength and in what way are their similarities a weakness?

Part 3: Why is Lovborg inspired by Mrs. Elvsted, but Hedda is not inspired by Tesman? Is the difference in Lovborg and Hedda or in Mrs. Elvsted and Tesman?

Essay Topic 2

In the play HEDDA GABLER there are two sets of characters that contrast each other. We see Hedda contrasted to Mrs. Elvsted and Tesman to Lovborg. In each case the outside character embodies something that our main character is jealous of.

Part 1: Hedda longs for influence over Lovborg and is intensely jealous of Mrs. Elvsted's success in reforming him. In what very crucial ways is Hedda unlike Mrs Elvsted, and how does this limit her?

Why does Hedda long for influence over Lovborg but not over Tesman? Is Hedda more akin to Tesman or to Lovborg? Do you think Mrs. Elvsted will feel the same way?

Part 2: Tesman is jealous of Lovborg's intellect and ability to write. How are Tesman's and Lovborg's academic works different? Are Tesman and Lovborg competing for the same things with their books, or do they value different consequences of their work?

Part 3: Do Tesman and Hedda handle their jealousy differently? How? What affect does their jealousy have on those around them?

Essay Topic 3

The play HEDDA GABLER is rife with symbolism and foreshadowing.

Part 1: Define symbolism and foreshadowing in pieces of literature such as HEDDA GABLER. What is the difference between the two literary techniques? How might an author use them? Why would an author use them?

Part 2: Discuss Ibsen's use of both these techniques in the play, citing as many examples of each as you can. Explain each one, and what you think Ibsen was trying to convey. Why did he choose that particular object as a symbol? Make your essay as thorough and complete as you can.

(see the answer keys)

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