Suicide and Social Freedom: Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler

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Christopher R. Trogan


This article investigates the protagonist’s somewhat ambiguous suicide in Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (1890). In this play, suicide is used a device for achieving freedom from social restrictions. Ibsen depicts the eponymous character as out of synch with the mindless strictures of her social situation and who uses suicide as a device to break through the frozen surface of her world. Hedda’s suicide foregrounds a significant tension between individual freedom and social responsibility.

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Trogan, C. (2018). Suicide and Social Freedom: Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. Humanities Bulletin, 1(2), 269-279. Retrieved from