Shakespeare and Ibsen: A Comparative Study of Macbeth and Hedda Gabler from 21st Century Radical Feminism Perspective

Md. Amir Hossain, Arburim Iseni, Liljana Siljanovska, Vlera Ejupi


In this paper, our purpose is to depict the feminist message as articulated in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler by portraying Lady Macbeth and Hedda Gabler who are representatives of Elizabethan England and the 19th century Scandinavian Bourgeois society and culture respectively. Through these female protagonists, both dramatists wanted to expose their contemporary situation of the female community. Both Hedda and Lady Macbeth have raised a fiery voice or initiated a dreadful revolution against the patriarchal rule, power, and domination with a view to attaining self-pelf, self-power, and self-domination. In these two plays, both Shakespeare and Ibsen have prioritized the female identity, revolt, and dominance more than the male order and custom. This paper also aims to discuss the character of Lady Macbeth as the matriarchal influence upon the patriarchy, the ambitious crime, woman’s idea upon masculinity, Lady Macbeth’s effort to repudiate womanhood, her femininity versus her unnatural resolve, her fear and remorse, her sleep-walking; Hedda is also viewed as a maladjusted, neurotic, unfulfilled, unnatural woman, full of nervous energy and longings-gliding to irresistible self- destruction. Here, I have tried to highlight the critical judgments of several critics based on the character-analysis of the two powerful female protagonists. Considering the femme fatale characters of Shakespeare and Ibsen, the most renowned and powerful playwrights writing in English and Norwegian language respectively, especially the powerful and domineering female protagonists cum heroines, Lady Macbeth and Hedda Gabler, this paper proposes to draw attention to the play-texts of both dramatists as the embodiment of the 21st century radical feminism as well.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2014.v4n4p30

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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