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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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Nihilism and Boredom in Hedda Gabler

Nihilism and Boredom in Hedda Gabler

(p.26) 1 Nihilism and Boredom in Hedda Gabler
Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Leonardo F. Lisi

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Hedda’s experience of boredom and its relation to the modern condition of nihilism. While Hedda’s character has traditionally been seen as mysterious and erratic in her motivations, she in fact consistently pursues a project of existential and aesthetic autonomy as a way to overcome the alienation of modern life. In Ibsen’s play, however, her project ultimately founders through the disclosure of an ontological condition that undermines all attempts at establishing human values and meanings, whether relative or absolute.

Keywords:   nihilism, self-determination, existentialism, ontology, tragedy, nihilism

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