Hedda Gabler Criticism

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Hedda Gabler was published in December of 1890, a few weeks before it was first performed. Norwegian, English, German, French, Russian, and Dutch versions were printed almost simultaneously, with the result that the consternation many readers felt quickly spread throughout Europe. The play garnered the worst press reviews of any of Ibsen's mature plays, even Rosmersholm, which had been critically mauled four years earlier. The newer work offended many and puzzled more critics, who, as Hans Heiberg noted in Ibsen: A Portrait of the Artist, found the main character too monstrous, a "revolting female creature" who "received neither sympathy nor compassion." Just as damning, the work seemed to lack a message, a corrective purpose, the sort of social critique for which Ibsen had become so famous.

Hedda's character was the principal target of much of the negative criticism. Quoted in Ibsen: A Biography, Alfred Sinding-Larsen called her "a horrid...

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This section contains 802 words
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Hedda Gabler from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.