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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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Where Hedda Dies

Where Hedda Dies

The Significance of Place

(p.48) 2 Where Hedda Dies
Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Susan L. Feagin

Oxford University Press

Hedda’s behavior displays a pattern of attempts to distance herself from her responsibilities, which is integral to her concept of freedom. She exploits her social status, promotes outmoded and impractical ideals, prefers to listen to people’s exploits rather than engage with the world, and theatricalizes her own behavior. Underlining this flight from responsibility is the back room, significant as the site of her death and illustrative of her desire for freedom. Her death in the back room—a “non-place,” or no place in particular—reflects the vacuity of her quest for freedom. Without responsibilities during her life, her death means nothing, especially to family and friends who survive her.

Keywords:   Ibsen, Hedda Gabler, non-place, responsibility, freedom, theatrical space, modern drama

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