Martin Esslin critical essay

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Martin Esslin, in his critical essay written in 1969, comments on works from the beginning, middle and finally the end of Ibsen’s career. He chose to write about Hedda Gabler in his section about the middle of Ibsen’s career. While his writing is fairly complex, most of it is decipherable. He writes that “Hedda Gabler is the last of his strictly realist plays.” (237). He also explains that Hedda Gabler “is first and foremost about …

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…shot ringing out in what seems like an idyllic scene, all these may contain more poetic feelings than a dozen finely written speeches.” (238). I agree with all that Esslin states, and was impressed with the way that he related the characters to each other and how they balanced each other out. He shows that most important aspects of the play were so evident, specifically how Hedda was the main character and also the social commentary.