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Hedda Gabler and Dybbuk

The plays of the past are mostly depicting the situations during the times when they were first written and published. Among the most common themes of the past plays pertain to the effects of past times to the present situations of the characters. In thus regard two of the well-known plays in the history off literature pertaining to the said theme are Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, which was written during the year 1891 and the Dybbuk written by Shloime Anski during the year 1914.

These plays belong to both different times, but since the war has influenced the writers to come up with the said thematic approach of the plays, it could be seen how they viewed past events as a large part of whatever is happening in the present situation of the life of many people. In this regard, the paragraphs to follow are then expressed by the author to determine the necessary factors making up the plays, which naturally pertains to their theme regarding the effects of the past towards the present life of the characters.

Their actions and their motives for doing certain things would be analyzed closely to be able to find the real reason and result behind the events that make up the play. Hedda Gabler and Dybbuk page 2 The question to be analyzed herein mainly points out to one idea: “How could the past events in one’s life affect the way a person’s perception and way of living in the present times of their lives? ” The Dybbuk Dybbuk is a Jewish word referring to the spirit of the dead people who ought to stay in a certain dimension after death. This play written by Shloine Anski shows the impact of the dead spirit’s influence with the living society.

It also shows how a past arrangement with regards to marriage or life as it is, which have not been fulfilled results in the future. Thus, when the future becomes present, the consequences are then felt by the ones who are involved within the situation. The Plot and its relation to the Past The plot of this play starts with the arrangement making Sender, Leah’le’s father, to agree to an arrangement of making his daughter get married with Hannan. Because of the fact that at a certain measure of time has already passed, Sender forgets about his agreed arrangement and decides not to let his daughter marry Hannan.

Instead, he decides to bring Leah’le to marry another man. From this point, the play began to revolve around the said theme and thus the plot of the play continues to develop and the events are all pertaining to that past occurrence. Hedda Gabler and Dybbuk page 3 Prevention of the Past to take Effect in the Present To be able to avoid the effect of what he has done in the past, Sender tries to re-engage Leah’le to another man, which he though would help his daughter find a better life and Hannan to find his own love.

However, Sender’s plan failed when Hannan died because of his longing for Leah’le. As a result, when Leah’le was about to get married, she went to the graves to invite her dead mother to join the wedding along with the spirits of the murdered couple who were also lying in their own graves. At this point, she was able to learn about Hannan’s death and with that, she has been possessed by the Dybbuk. Thus, when she came back to her wedding, she began to say to her supposed fiance that he was not her life’s beloved one.

With this, the other members of her family and Sender himself tried to avoid what was supposed to happen as he knows that Hannan has already died. They went to the Hassidic Sage to exorcise the Dybbuk, however, Hannan’s love for Leah’le has made it possible for her to become convinced that she has to join her ‘life’s beloved one’ in death. The Costumes and Props The materials used to show the significance of the past within the play has been showed through the use of the ancient clothing as well as the mode of environment when Hannan was still living.

During the point of exorcism, Hannan’s present within the situation has been well played through the use of different props such as smoke which signifies his spirit and his presence during the present situation faced by Leah’le during the play. Hedda Gabler and Dybbuk page 4 Emotional Pattern of Characters Especially during the point where the ‘graveyard incident’ takes place, the emotions of Leah’le upon learning about her supposed marriage with Hannan has been clearly established as she said to her supposed fiance in her wedding, “you are not my life’s beloved one” (Winkler, 241).

Certainly, this shows how strong is the impact of the past events are to the life of the one’s involved in it during the present times. Hedda Gebler Henrik Ibsen has been know in creating plays which refers to the flaws of marriage life such as the “Doll House”. In Hedda Gebler, Ibsen tries to depict a woman’s character with regards to her past life and how it has been the cause of her death during the turn-out of the situations in the play. It was year 1891 when Henrik Ibsen was able to author the plot and the overall creation of the play Hedda Gebler.

The whole story revolves around the revenge that an adult woman has towards a younger woman which rooted from a past misunderstanding and jealousy as well. The Plot and its relation to the Past The whole plot of the story started from the present time setting when Hedda has already been married to Tesman. Along the way, Lovborg, who has been her past love, has come back into the picture showing and telling Hedda how much he used to love her and how he could not believe that their relationship has already ended as he said: “I can not Hedda Gabler and Dybbuk page 5 believe you are with him, when I’m the one who really loves you” ().

By saying this, Lovborg brings back the memories to Hedda’s mind and thus makes their situation even harder to deal with.. The situations of the play even got harder and more confusing when Tesman and Lovborg did not come home from a party making everyone else nervous of whatever happened to them, then finally bringing news that somebody died. In the funeral, Thea, a person with whom hedda had felt so much jealousy with when they were younger, has been there.

Hence, this gave Hedda the chance to tell Mrs. Elvsted of the fears of Thea against Lovborg. This became a sign of betrayal on Hedda’s part with her past love Lovborg. Not being able to fix the things that have been happening, Hedda turned into killing Lovborg and herself, as she would want to achieve all the things, which she never achieved before in peace. To her, death would be the only one that would bring her relationship back with Lovborg, and would also bring an end with regards to her hatred against Thea.

Prevention of the Past to take Effect in the Present Even though Hedda despised Thea and would love to come back with Lovborg, her staying out of the way of both people was one of the part where it shows how much Hedda aimed to avoid making any strong impact on how her past life affects her present motives and views of her present life. However, the plot of the play continues to show that Hedda failed to do her part on avoiding the past to take effect in her present life, instead her past even made a great Hedda Gabler and Dybbuk page 6

influence on why she has done the things that she has done as the end of the play neared its completion. The Costumes and Props The costumes used for the play has been much referring to elegance and luxurious life towards all the scenes of the play. These costumes showed the present state of life of the characters, however the props used to be able to show the impact of Hedda’s past life with her present has been much related to Thea’s costumes showing one part of the reasons why Hedda has been much jealous against Thea.

Thea’s feminine looks and natural beauty has been the cause of much of Hedda’s feelings to develop against her. Emotional Pattern of Characters The strong emotions showed by Hedda when she killed herself and Lovborg showed how strong is the influence of her past history was with her present life. The strong emotional display of Thea too during the completion of the play showed how much disappointed she was with regards to the past relationship she had with Hedda, and how she could have made things better to avoid what happened at present. Conclusion Different plays display different themes.

The themes depend on how the writers ought to react to the present situations of life and the different aspects of life itself. Certainly, however the writers want the themes to be, it is always important that the plot and every other elements of the play pertain straight to the highlighting of the main theme which is ought to be sent to the viewers.


Ibsen, Henrik. (2005). Four Great Plays of Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House, The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder (Enriched Classics Series). Pocket Publishings; Reissue edition. Winkler, Gershon . (1982). Dybbuk. Judaica Press.

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