Hedda Gabler

Judge Brack is a shrewd and respected man in society, a cynical old bachelor, and a regular guest at the Tesmans’ villa. He is a gentleman of 45, stocky and elastic in his movements, with short, almost black hair and lively, playful eyes. He takes pleasure in having a hand in other people’s business, as when he arranges the Tesmans’ finances and delivers professional news to Tesman himself. However, it is the mistress of the house, Hedda, with whom Brack especially seeks intimacy. The two deviously gossip together, but underneath their superficialities a campaign of control is being waged: Brack again and again obliquely propositions Hedda, and she again and again evades him. Their games of sexual innuendo, veiled threats, and a shared world-weariness provide both with a reprieve from the stale monotony of their lives. In the end, however, Judge Brack at last gets the upper hand over Hedda—but Hedda surprises him by doing the unthinkable.

Judge Brack Quotes in Hedda Gabler

The Hedda Gabler quotes below are all either spoken by Judge Brack or refer to Judge Brack. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Power and Influence Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Oxford University Press edition of Hedda Gabler published in 2008.
Act 2 Quotes

Hedda: Hullo again, Mr. Brack!

Brack: Good afternoon to you, Mrs. Tesman!

Hedda: I’m going to shoot you sir!

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Judge Brack
Related Symbols: General Gabler’s Pistols
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

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Brack: But my dearest lady, how could you do such a thing! To that harmless old soul!

Hedda: Oh, you know how it is…these things just suddenly come over me. And then I can’t resist them. Oh, I don’t know myself how to explain it.

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Judge Brack
Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:

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Hedda: I’ve often thought there’s only one thing in the world I’m any good at.

Brack: And what might that be, may I venture to ask?

Hedda: Boring myself to death.

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Judge Brack
Page Number: 209
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3 Quotes

Hedda: You’re quite a formidable person…when it comes to the point.

Brack: You think so?

Hedda: Yes, I’m beginning to think so, now. And I’m content…so long as you don’t have any sort of hold over me.

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Judge Brack
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4 Quotes

Hedda: He was shot in the breast?

Brack: Yes…as I said.

Hedda: Not in the temple?

Brack: In the breast, Mrs. Tesman.

Hedda: Well…the breast is good, too.

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Judge Brack (speaker), Ejlert Lövborg
Related Symbols: General Gabler’s Pistols
Page Number: 255
Explanation and Analysis:

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Hedda: And so I am in your power, Mr. Brack. From now on I am at your mercy.

Brack: Dearest Hedda…believe me…I shall not abuse the position.

Hedda: In your power, all the same. Subject to your will and your demands. No longer free! No! That’s a thought that I’ll never endure! Never.

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Judge Brack (speaker)
Related Symbols: General Gabler’s Pistols
Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:

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Judge Brack Character Timeline in Hedda Gabler

The timeline below shows where the character Judge Brack appears in Hedda Gabler. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...Hedda had too many suitcases that had to come. Aunt Julle says it’s quite all right—Judge Brack took her home. Berte asks if she should go into Miss Hedda’s chambers and... (full context)
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Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...terribly expensive, Aunt Julle suggests. Tesman admits that it is expensive, despite the fact that Judge Brack got very favorable financial terms on the house for the Tesmans—or at least the... (full context)
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Aunt Julle tells her nephew not to worry: with Judge Brack’s help, she has taken out a mortgage on her and Aunt Rina’s annuity to... (full context)
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...give to Berte. Hedda takes the letter, but just then Berte enters from the hall. Judge Brack is here, she announces. Hedda instructs Berte to ask him to step inside, and... (full context)
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Judge Brack enters, bowing with his hat in hand. Tesman introduces him to Mrs. Elvsted (whom... (full context)
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Tesman and Judge Brack sit down, and the Judge says he has a little matter to talk about... (full context)
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Brack does have some news for Tesman: his old friend Ejlert Lövborg is back in town—as... (full context)
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...that Tesman is forever worrying about what people are going to find to live on. Judge Brack suggests that Lövborg has influential relations who, despite disowning him long ago, may reclaim... (full context)
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Judge Brack then, with hesitation, reveals serious news: the appointment to the professorship which Tesman was... (full context)
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Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
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Judge Brack exits. Tesman confides in Hedda that it was “idiotically romantic” of him to get... (full context)
Act 2
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Hedda sees Judge Brack approaching the Tesmans’ villa from the back, through the garden. She greets him, raises... (full context)
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Hedda complains that she hasn’t had any visitors. Judge Brack asks if Tesman is in, but Hedda says no, he ran off to his... (full context)
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Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
Hedda and Judge Brack sit down for a comfortable gossip. The two say they have missed talking together.... (full context)
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Judge Brack wonders how it was that Tesman won Hedda’s hand in marriage in the first... (full context)
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Judge Brack laughs and says that he respects the bonds of holy matrimony. Hedda banteringly says... (full context)
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...concedes that she would have been glad of a third person on her honeymoon trip. Brack says that passengers on the train of marriage can always jump out and move around... (full context)
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Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...many academic books under his arms and in his pockets. He is surprised to find Brack there already, as Berte didn’t mention anything about a guest. Tesman goes on to say... (full context)
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Tesman exits. Judge Brack asks Hedda about the hat incident, and Hedda reveals that she only pretended to... (full context)
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Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
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...for the place at all. This conversation then precipitated the couple’s engagement, marriage, and honeymoon. Judge Brack finds the story “delicious.” (full context)
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
...lavender and potpourri in her house, which she suspects Aunt Julle of having wafted in. Judge Brack thinks the smell is a relic of Lady Falk. In any case, the house... (full context)
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Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
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Hedda leans back and tells Brack that he can’t imagine how excruciatingly bored she will be here, with nothing inviting in... (full context)
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Judge Brack then suggests that Hedda might have to take on a new responsibility soon enough... (full context)
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...with him for the professorship. Hedda suggests that if Lövborg decides not to go to Judge Brack’s bachelor party later that night, she can always keep him company. Tesman doesn’t know... (full context)
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Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
...from his new manuscript to Tesman, but Tesman doesn’t know if he can manage that. Judge Brack explains: he’s hosting a bachelor party that night, more or less in honor of... (full context)
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Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Hedda invites the gentlemen to partake of some cold (alcoholic) punch. Brack and the excited Tesman accept, but Lövborg declines. Hedda says that she will entertain him... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...trip again. Tesman offers her some punch and cake and she accepts. He exits. Meanwhile, Judge Brack keeps an eye on Hedda and Lövborg from the inner room. (full context)
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...sex), but Hedda tactfully cuts him off, and Tesman returns to the inner room with Judge Brack. (full context)
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Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...himself. Thea pleads with Hedda to stop pressuring Lövborg, but Hedda tells him nonetheless that Judge Brack looked at him contemptuously when he declined he punch and the invitation to the... (full context)
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Tesman and Judge Brack enter—it’s time to go. Lövborg announces, despite Thea’s pleading, that he too is going... (full context)
Act 3
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...brought in suggests otherwise. Well, says Hedda, then both Tesman and Lövborg must be at Judge Brack’s. There, she fantasizes, Ejlert Lövborg is even now reading from his manuscript. (full context)
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Tesman then arrives at the saddest part of the story: while he and Brack and a few others were walking Lövborg home, Tesman fell back behind the others. While... (full context)
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Berte enters and announces that Judge Brack is outside. Hedda orders her to admit him. Hedda the snatches Lövborg’s manuscript from... (full context)
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Judge Brack enters just as Tesman rushes off to see Aunt Rina. Hedda and Brack sit... (full context)
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...from having the metaphorical vine leaves in his hair, behaved so squalidly the night before. Judge Brack concludes that he felt a duty to tell the Tesmans about Lövborg’s disgraceful conduct,... (full context)
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Brack goes a step further: he’s willing to fight using every means at his disposal to... (full context)
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Brack rises to leave through the garden, saying that he has no objection to going around... (full context)
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...says that all her husband told her when he came in very late was that Judge Brack’s party had been very lively. (full context)
Act 4
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Tesman is outraged. He yells at Hedda, and says that she’s committed a felony, as Judge Brack could inform her (don’t tell Brack anything, Hedda advises)—how could she, Hedda Tesman, do... (full context)
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Judge Brack enters. He announces that Ejlert Lövborg has in fact been taken to the hospital,... (full context)
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Tesman asks where Lövborg shot himself, and Judge Brack responds uncertainly, “at his lodgings.” Thea says that this isn’t possible, because she was... (full context)
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Hedda sits in an armchair and after a while Judge Brack joins her. Hedda confides in him that Lövborg’s death has relieved and liberated her,... (full context)
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Judge Brack feels compelled to disabuse Hedda of a beautiful illusion: Lövborg shot himself accidentally. Moreover,... (full context)
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Hedda is disgusted: “Everything I touch seems destined to turn into something…farcical,” she says. Brack has one final piece of news: he says that the pistol Lövborg died by must... (full context)
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Hedda and Judge Brack whisperingly resume their conversation about the pistol that Lövborg died by. Brack knows the... (full context)
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No one will know who owns the pistol, Judge Brack goes on to say, if he himself holds his tongue. Hedda understands at once... (full context)
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...if she can anything do to help, but Tesman says that she should just enjoy Judge Brack’s company. (full context)
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Tesman responds that Judge Brack will visit Hedda, and Brack confirms that he’ll visit every single night—the two of... (full context)
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...in from the right. Tesman cries that his wife has shot herself in the temple. Judge Brack, half prostrate in his armchair, is shocked: “People don’t do such things,” he exclaims. (full context)