The Wild Duck Topics for Further Study
by Henrik Ibsen

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Topics for Further Study

(Drama for Students)

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Imagine that Hedvig had only injured herself, not killed herself. How do you think the family would react? Do you think Hjalmar would change at all? Would the play still be considered tragic?

Conduct research to find other dramas that are part comedy, part tragedy. What are some of these plays? What do they have in common with The Wild Duck?

Ibsen has raised feminist issues in plays such as A Doll's House, in which the heroine leaves her family for an independent life, and The Wild Duck, which touches upon issues of female sexuality. Do you think Ibsen could be considered a feminist writer? Explain your answer.

The symbolism of the wild duck is a muchdiscussed topic in the field of literature. What do you think the duck most symbolizes? The entry discusses ways in which the duck represents Hjalmar, Gina, and Gregers. Do you think the duck also represents Hedvig? Explain your answer.

Some critics have stated that there is no likable character in The Wild Duck. Do you agree with this assessment? Explain your answer.

Conduct research into societal values held by Norwegians toward the turn of the nineteenth century. Based on your findings, do you think the viewpoints and attitudes expressed by the characters are accurate? Why or why not?

Find out more about Ibsen's works. How would you categorize his body of work? What issues were of greatest concern to him? How do his early plays differ from his later plays?