Is Hedda Gabler an absurdist play?

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Hedda Gabler, like Ibsen’s other works, is firmly ensconced in the realist canon. It is conventionally structured in acts, its characters generally behave in a believable fashion, and the plot proceeds in linear fashion. By all these criteria, it would not be considered absurdist. There are several caveats implicit in your question, however. “Absurdism” as a philosophical approach to creativity is generally associated with the severe alienation that followed World War II, drawing its name from Albert Camus’s claim that life is fundamentally absurd. Although the authors most often associated with it generally did not claim that their works constituted a movement, their viewpoints were similar, and in some ways, they echo Ibsen’s perspective in Hedda Gabler.

Playwrights considered absurdist, according to Encyclopedia Britannica,

shared a pessimistic vision of humanity struggling vainly to find a purpose and to control its fate. Humankind in this view is left feeling hopeless, bewildered, and anxious.

Industrialized, bourgeois society of the late 19th century was not immune to alienation. Hedda, more than any of Ibsen’s other heroines, is severely alienated from the normal social good. Her extreme belief in art and beauty are not the values of her middle-class world. Her own frustrations at not making things happen and, especially, at the futility of behaving decisively—especially in burning Lovberg’s manuscript—have much in common with Samuel Beckett’s anti-hero characters. Hedda expresses that frustration as a lamentation that everything she touches...

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khushikhan1989 | Student

i think yes it is an absurd play becoz the character of hedda is the victim of nihilism.

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