Hedda Gabler By Henrik Ibsen Act II

HEDDA.

A vocation — that should attract me?

BRACK.

If possible, of course.

HEDDA.

Heaven knows what sort of a vocation that could be. I often wonder whether — - [Breaking off.] But that would never do either.

BRACK.

Who can tell? Let me hear what it is.

HEDDA.

Whether I might not get Tesman to go into politics, I mean.

BRACK.

[Laughing.] Tesman? No really now, political life is not the thing for him — not at all in his line.

HEDDA.

No, I daresay not. — But if I could get him into it all the same?

BRACK.

Why — what satisfaction could you find in that? If he is not fitted for that sort of thing, why should you want to drive him into it?

HEDDA.

Because I am bored, I tell you! [After a pause.] So you think it quite out of the question that Tesman should ever get into the ministry?

BRACK.

H'm — you see, my dear Mrs. Hedda — to get into the ministry, he would have to be a tolerably rich man.

HEDDA.

[Rising impatiently.] Yes, there we have it! It is this genteel poverty I have managed to drop into — -! [Crosses the room.] That is what makes life so pitiable! So utterly ludicrous! — For that's what it is.

BRACK.

Now I should say the fault lay elsewhere.

HEDDA.

Where, then?

BRACK.

You have never gone through any really stimulating experience.

HEDDA.

Anything serious, you mean?

BRACK.

Yes, you may call it so. But now you may perhaps have one in store.

HEDDA.

[Tossing her head.] Oh, you're thinking of the annoyances about this wretched professorship! But that must be Tesman's own affair. I assure you I shall not waste a thought upon it.

BRACK.

No, no, I daresay not. But suppose now that what people call — in elegant language — a solemn responsibility were to come upon you? [Smiling.] A new responsibility, Mrs. Hedda?

HEDDA.

[Angrily.] Be quiet! Nothing of that sort will ever happen!

BRACK.

[Warily.] We will speak of this again a year hence — at the very outside.

HEDDA.

[Curtly.] I have no turn for anything of the sort, Judge Brack. No responsibilities for me!

BRACK.

Are you so unlike the generality of women as to have no turn for duties which — -?

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