Hedda Gabler Versus The Importance Of Being Earnest

1364 words - 6 pages

Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest are both regarded as their best work getting praise and recognition for their contribution to the literary world. Due to Ibsen’s extensively complex main character Hedda Tesman, she is regarded to be one of the “most difficult roles in theatre” (T.Ross). The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde’s most recognized piece which would also be his last play before being sent to jail convicted of homosexual acts. Props can be used in such a way that can account for the characters qualities, create deeper meaning for the time and the character, and also can accent the type of character whether flat or round. But ...view middle of the document...

The idea of masculinity and femininity is questioned in Hedda Gabler through the main characters Hedda and her husband Tesman. Both the characters Hedda and Tesman have their own props that reflect their state of masculinity and femininity; Hedda has her pistols normally associated with violence, strength, and power which are also related to a strong masculine characteristics. Tesman on the other hand is associated with notes about medieval homemaking, also Tesman has never made any piece of work and only looks and study other peoples work, the notes that he is studying is all about how woman took care of the house a very feminine subject making it seem as he is sharing traits of femininity. The masculinity and femininity roles of Hedda and Tasman where switched and at the time when gender roles where very strict and barely ever broken out of. This reverse of gender roles in that time period help show off Hedda’s character development through controlling Tesman as well as be in a position of power which she strides for. The importance of Being Earnest on the other hand has more specific meaning about being homosexual or adulterous in that time period. There are two main props that have deeper meaning, the cigarette box and the green ring. The grey cigarette case is known to “well-off gay men paid their male prostitutes to avoid prosecution; favorites even got their names engraved inside” (citation) which is important because it shows that this person is leading a double life of leading two separate lives like many homosexuals and men that where not monogamous had, and it is also important because all of the gay men that would have attended would recognize this as a small act of rebellion from the society that they live in where homosexual acts where considered wrong and a punishable offence. The second important prop is the green ring that Jack is wearing throughout the play “a green scarab ring adorned one of his fingers” (citation) this was also another act of rebellion because it was known that men would use this as a secrete sign that they are gay. It is important to mention the meaning behind the props because they were a reflection of what the author was going through at the time, a society that didn’t accept homosexuals. Although they both have deeper meaning behind their props Wilde does a better job at getting what he wants to say across.
An important aspect when looking at character development is whether or not the characters are flat or round. The props in both of the plays help play a role in whether if the characters are flat or round. In Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler the main character Hedda is a round character; Hedda’s traits don’t change but rather her traits of violence and her need for power intensify throughout the play. As Hedda is about to lose her power to Judge Brack...

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