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Ibsen's Hedda GablerPhilosophical Perspectives$
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Kristin Gjesdal

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190467876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190467876.001.0001

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Ibsen on History and Life

Ibsen on History and Life

Hedda Gabler in a Nietzschean Light

(p.215) 10 Ibsen on History and Life
Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Kristin Gjesdal

Oxford University Press

Henrik Ibsen’s dramatic oeuvre opens with a handful of historical plays, located in ancient Rome as well as a grand, almost mythological past in Norway. Hedda Gabler, however, presents us with an impatient, existentially dissatisfied, and restless female protagonist who fails actively to connect to the past and live out and carry on her family traditions. We also encounter the male protagonists of Jørgen Tesman and Eilert Løvborg. These are two historians with opposing attitudes to the nature, worth, and relevance of their work. With reference to the Nietzcheanism that prevailed in Scandinavia at the time, this chapter explores the various attitudes to scholarship, history, and life that are being staged in Hedda Gabler.

Keywords:   Ibsen, Nietzsche, Hedda Gabler, Untimely Meditations, The Birth of Tragedy, history, existentialism, nineteenth-century philosophy, modernity, modernism

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