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 thank Brack for when Brack arrives at the house for the first time in Act 1?

2. What does Hedda confess to Brack regarding her feelings toward Tesman?

3. What kind of friends were Mrs Elvsted and Hedda in school?

4. What item in Hedda and Tesman's house has been moved out of view in the beginning of Act 2 of HEDDA GABLER?

5. How were the furnishings in the house paid for?

Short Essay Questions

1. How much interest does Hedda show in getting along with all the Tesman family? Give an example.

2. What is the main question of importance that Lovborg has for Hedda when they are talking in private?

3. How does the title character in HEDDA GABLER feel about motherhood? Do others know or expect her to feel this way?

4. 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?

5. In Act 2 of HEDDA GABLER, what do we learn about the hat incident of Act I that was not divulged to us at the time?

6. 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"?

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

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

9. 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?

10. When Julle and Tesman discuss Hedda, what do they usually focus 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, the character of Julle is seen only briefly, but she is mentioned often and has several important roles to play. Write an essay about the need for her character in the play.

Part 1: What many purposes does her character have? Ibsen needs to use her to achieve several things. What are they? Who does her character help to contrast? Who does her character add depth to? Who does she help define?

Part 2: Discuss the importance in general of minor characters that don't play a major role in the plot, and what they often are there to do. Does realism need them more than other genres? What complications for the writer might they help solve?

Essay Topic 3

The character of Hedda Tesman is complex, and has been interpreted in many different ways. Is she a victim of circumstance? Is she a manipulative and selfish evil doer? Perhaps an idealistic dreamer? Is her lashing out early signs of feminism? The final definition of Hedda's character is left to the actress that portrays her, and there have been many variations. How do you see Hedda? Write a full and thorough description of Hedda the way you see her, and the way you would portray her on stage if it were up to you. Develop her character thoroughly, so the reader feels they know her. Support your arguments with examples and details from the play.

(see the answer keys)

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