What is the point of Tesman constantly saying "What?" throughout Hedda Gabler?

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Tesman is the proverbial absent-minded professor, a scholar who is fixated on intellectual matters. His constantly saying "What?" is emblematic of his remoteness from others, including Hedda, and of his being disconnected in some way from the outside world and from other people's concerns. He either doesn't hear or doesn't understand much of what is going on around him.

Why is this significant to the plot of Hedda Gabler ? For one thing, Hedda and Tesman are mismatched. She is...

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