44 pages 1 hour read

Henrik Ibsen

Hedda Gabler

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1890

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Act IV

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Act IV, Pages 112-117 Summary

It is evening. Hedda is in the living room. Juliane arrives with the news that Rina has died. Juliane will not stay long; she has to go and prepare Rina’s body for burial. Tesman enters and worries that Juliane will be lonely now without Rina. Juliane assures Tesman that she will soon take in another “poor, sick soul to nurse” (114). She leaves. 

Tesman is worried about Ejlert. He went to his house earlier to tell him that his manuscript was safe, but Ejlert wasn’t there. Hedda confesses that Ejlert came to their house and claimed to have destroyed his work. Tesman wants to take the manuscript back to Ejlert now. Hedda tells him that she burned it. Tesman is horrified, but Hedda says that she burned the manuscript for Tesman, because she could not bear “the idea of someone else putting [him] in the shade” (116). Tesman’s horror turns to delight. He believes that Hedda has burned the manuscript out of love for him. Hedda indirectly tells Tesman that she is pregnant, and Tesman is even more overjoyed. Hedda cannot stand all the fuss.