• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Hedda Gabler Themes of Secrecy and Repression

Extracts from this document...


by Charis Ow English- SL Mr D. Minford How does Ibsen exploit dramatic techniques to explore the themes of repression and secrecy? In Hedda Gabler, playwright Henkrik Ibsen successfully exploits various dramatic techniques to present the themes of repression and secrecy through his effective stage directions and dialogues without even having the need to employ the technique of narration and soliloquies. Firstly, in act 1, Ibsen expands the domestic settings of the Tesmans' home through stage directions by using "a spacious, handsome and tastefully appointed reception room" which has its elegance and aristocratic refinement -reflecting Hedda's aristocratic lifestyle and social class, and gives the audience intimations that characters in the play are people from the upper-class of great wealth and riches. However, it is "decorated in dark colours" - dark colours are connotations of mystery, grim darkness and perhaps to an extent, cruelty, contradicting the first impression that they have at the beginning which indicates the play is likely to be dark, dramatic which at the same time suggests conflicts, tragedy and repression. He employs other stage directions by using various props such as - the piano above the glass door - which contributes in foreshadowing Hedda's downfall at the end of the play where she plays the piano, then shoots herself with the gun, and dies under the portrait ...read more.


The fact that she despises the light and instructs her husband to "draw the curtains" perhaps indicates that Hedda has desires not to be clear and transparent to the world and that she wants to keep things hidden and veiled - which applies to the fact that she denies, resents and represses her pregnancy and the prospect of motherhood, meanwhile also refuses to be bound to the expectations of society. Moreover, in the scene where she said to Thea, "what do you think people will say about you, Thea?" indicates her being an immensely repressed individual as she is apprehensive of what the society thinks of her, which then contradicts her goal of breaking free from being compliant to society's expectations. In addition to that, the costumes of each character also carry a significant meaning which Ibsen effectively exploits throughout the play. In the beginning of act I, where Tesman and his Aunt Julle are carrying out a regular conversation with each other, Tesman commented that her hat is "fine and fancy" as he turns it around his hand. "I bought it because of Hedda" - she explains, and adds on "so Hedda won't be ashamed of me, if we should happen to walk together in the street" - referring to Ibsen's portrayal of Aunt Julle; a bourgeoisie character who is ...read more.


His entrance is symbolic as it exhibits his character that possesses a dark personality, perhaps full of mystery as well as dark secrets. The similar incident happens in Act III with the only difference that this time; Brack is moving out from the house "towards the glass door" and leaves "through the garden", "round the back way" - refers not only to his using the back entrance to the house, but to his being sneaky, secretive and devious. He also thinks that "at times it can be quite stimulating" which implies his scheming personality, as he finds dark secrets and secret affairs amusing. Ibsen explicitly exposes stresses of modern life by setting up this play with themes such as repression and secrecy to show his audience the inner strains and conflicts that inhibit the individual during the fastidious Victorian society. He also shows the pressures, insured expectations and values of society which suppresses individuality - leaving people such as Hedda as an example, feeling repressed and constrained. In addition to that, Ibsen's goal of intriguing the play's storyline is also, at the same time, to enunciate the hunger for freedom from the enclosed social barriers, blemishes and downfall of men and women in Victorian society. (1282 words) ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Drama Essay: Hedda Gabler

    be able to change someone's fate or ever be able to control her own. Hedda's direct speech raises a concern from the audience for her as we understand her emotional pain. She is obviously desperate and just wants to belong somewhere where she can make a difference to someone.

  2. How does Ibsen exploit dramatic techniques to explore the themes of repression and secrecy?

    Furthermore, he also reveals Hedda's self-duality, using the inner room. His stage direction positions the pistols, the piano and General Gabler's portrait in this room, connecting it to Hedda's identity. As it is closely associated to Hedda, the inner room, in contrast to the drawing room, represents her private self.

  1. Hamlet ACT I Scene I:1

    Polonius looks like a fool. Weasel=sneaky, Whale=not powerful. Witching time is midnight and foreshadows that something to happen. There is a dramatic tension because he is extremely mean to his mother. Scene III Claudius has control over the country and power over Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

  2. Comparative Essay: Setting in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Hedda Gabler'

    This shows that she is not used to this kind of setting at all. As soon as she steps onto the set, Blanche is imprisoned by it. The 'New America' presented by the set is a jail for Blanche as she has no idea how things work and how to interact with women and particularly men.

  1. World Literature - Comparitive essay - Hedda Gabler Miss Julie

    Hedda tries to gain independence by manipulating others. Having General Gabler as a father, Hedda is permitted a life of independence and entertainment; however, her luxurious life comes to an end after her marriage to Tesman, a bourgeoisie, and her father's death.

  2. English World Literature Paper1: Hedda Gabler & The Unbearable Lightness of Being

    She is not only dogmatic and belligerent but also guileful and glib; she is resolute in carrying out her plan no matter what method she employs. At last, when her secret was exposed to Mr. Brack, she preferred to end her life rather than be subject to him; thus she

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work