The Wild Duck

The Wild Duck: Biography

Henrik Ibsen was born in Norway in 1828 and is recognised as one of the foremost prose dramatists of his time and of later eras. His writing is known for its engagement with society, politics and, increasingly in his later plays, with psychology, and because of its then unprecedented interest in the lives of the …

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The Wild Duck: Theme

EntrapmentThe theme of entrapment is used most obviously in the references to the caged animals in Ekdal’s re-created forest in the attic. It also runs through the critiques of marriage, in particular the marriage between Werle and Gregers’ mother and between Gina and Hjalmar. In both instances, the union is depicted as flawed because of …

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The Wild Duck: Metaphors

BlindnessBoth Werle and Hedvig have a degenerative eye condition that will eventually lead to blindness. Hjalmar regards this as suspicious, as their shared affliction is described as hereditary and so it is seen to be all the more possible that Werle is Hedvig’s father. Blindness is a vehicle in this instance for highlighting the bloodline …

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The Wild Duck: Characters

EkdalHe is the father of Hjalmar and is a former lieutenant. During the course of the play, it is apparent that he has been damaged psychologically after being wrongly imprisoned.GinaGina is the practical, pragmatic wife of Hjalmar and offers a contrast to the idealism demonstrated by her husband and GregersGregers WerleThis is the idealistic son …

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The Wild Duck: Act Five

Summary – Act FiveThe setting is the same, and it is the next morning and snow is on the ground outside.Gina and Hedvig talk. Gregers comes in and asks if they have heard from Hjalmar yet. Gina supposes he is downstairs with Relling and Relling confirms this when he appears.Gregers talks about Hjalmar and his …

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The Wild Duck: Act Four

Summary – Act FourThe setting remains the same. A photograph has been taken recently and Gina is saying goodbye to a client outside. She shuts the door and she and Hedvig say how late Hjalmar is.When he comes in, he does not look at Gina. He says for the future he means to do everything …

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The Wild Duck: Act Three

Summary – Act ThreeThe setting is in Hjalmar’s studio the following morning. He is retouching a photograph and Gina comes in from outside after a few moments and is carrying a covered basket. She says she has looked in on Gregers’ room and he has already accidentally filled it with smoke and when he tried …

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