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Does the character of Lovborg in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler represent glory?

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marias20 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM via web

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Does the character of Lovborg in Ibsen's Hedda Gabler represent glory?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 13, 2011 at 2:18 AM (Answer #1)

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The character of Eilert Lovborg in the story Hedda Gabler, by Henrik Ibsen, does have a brush with glory because he has the talent, intelligence, ability, and ambition to become a very glorious scholar and academician. He is capable of mingling with the right crowds, and charming the right women. He is obviously very well-versed and lets out, in most of his work, a quality of educated thinking that leaves his rivals quite behind.

This is precisely what makes Hedda so angry: Lovborg, who is her former lover, is more successful and gifted than Hedda's own husband. This is a clear blow to her narcissistic ego.

The problem with Lovborg, however, is that he is as talented as he is weak of character. He does charm the ladies, but ends up in all sorts of problems because of it. He drinks a lot, and gets frustrated easily. Like many other genius people his eccentricities include carelesness, exemplified by the moment when he misplaces the manuscript. In all, although Lovborg is a very strong man in terms of book-smarts, he is a very vulnerable human being. This could bring him rocketing down from any glorious position, which is exactly what happens in the end.  

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