Is Hedda Gabler a Tragedy?
Lou Salome believes Hedda Gabler’s death is tragic and that Hedda Gabler is a tragedy. Carolyn W. Mayerson doesn’t. What do you think of their interpretations? Do you think this play is a tragedy? Lou Salome: For it is an act of self renunciation, in a dark and ironic sense, through which Hedda rings down her life; she does not die for another person. . . and she does not live for another person. . . she dies for herself as she had lived for herself. In that she dies, she proves herself to be among those free born, untamed creatures; for in the necessity of her death, there first is revealed the whole tragedy of the uncanny contradiction of Hedda Gabler: the tragic aspect is that Hedda may only prove to herself the true existence of her inner freedom by cancelling herself out. She extinguishes the life of the tame and false Hedda, caught in the meshes of her own weakness, who while still living would not have found bearable the verdict now intoned by Counselor Brack over the deceased: