Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ibsen's Hedda GablerPhilosophical Perspectives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kristin Gjesdal

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190467876

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190467876.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 January 2018

Hedda Gabler and the Uses of Beauty

Hedda Gabler and the Uses of Beauty

Chapter:
(p.71) 3 Hedda Gabler and the Uses of Beauty
Source:
Ibsen's Hedda Gabler
Author(s):

Thomas Stern

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190467876.003.0004

Ibsen connects the character of Hedda Gabler with beauty in two ways. First, there is her attractiveness, both functional and transient, which is associated in the play with the concept of loveliness (as indicated by the term ‘lovely’, [dejlig]). Second is her ideal of beauty [skønhed] and, relatedly, of freedom—ostensibly a peculiar ideal in that it appears to be both free from any meaningful content and, more importantly, useless. The play also explores usefulness and uselessness in relation to the work of its two historians. This chapter offers a critical analysis of how various Marxist critics, including Löwenthal and Adorno, tried to make sense of the relation between use, beauty, and those historians’ academic work. Ultimately the central notion at work in the play is that of not being conditioned by external forces, although Ibsen’s take on the possibility and desirability of such a condition remains highly ambiguous.

Keywords:   Adorno, Löwenthal, Ibsen, Hedda Gabler, Karl Marx

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .