Hedda Gabler

Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript Symbol Icon

While General Gabler’s pistols and alcohol are destructive temptations launched from characters’ pasts into their presents, Lövborg and Thea Elvsted’s manuscript symbolizes creation, the redemption of the past, and hope for the future (the manuscript itself, after all, takes the future for its subject matter). Mrs. Elvsted inspired Lövborg in writing the manuscript, in what is virtually the only creative relationship between two people in the play. The manuscript itself promises to redeem Lövborg of his past disgrace, as well as to establish him with a bright reputation in the future. So important is the manuscript to Lövborg and Thea that they go so far as to consider it to be their very own child. However, Lövborg’s lack of self-control, coupled with Hedda’s destructive nature, lead to the loss and fiery death of this child. (Compare this with the fact that Hedda, who is pregnant from the beginning of the play, dreads the paltriness and boredom promised by motherhood, and takes her unborn child to death with her when she commits suicide.) Perhaps Mrs. Elvsted will inspire Jörgen to successfully reconstruct the Lövborg’s manuscript—this is the only prospect of creative redemption that the play leaves us with when the curtain falls.

Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript Quotes in Hedda Gabler

The Hedda Gabler quotes below all refer to the symbol of Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript. 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 3 Quotes

I don’t want to look at sickness and death. I must be free of everything that’s ugly.

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker)
Related Symbols: Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

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I want you to know, Lövborg, what you’ve done to the book…. For the rest of my life it’ll be for me as though you killed a little child.

Related Characters: Mrs. Thea Elvsted (speaker)
Related Symbols: Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:

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Hedda: And what are you going to do, then?

Lövborg: Nothing. Just put an end to it all. The sooner the better.

Hedda: Ejlert Lövborg…listen to me…. Couldn’t you let it happen… beautifully?

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Ejlert Lövborg (speaker)
Related Symbols: General Gabler’s Pistols, Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Now I’m burning your child, Thea! With your curly hair! Your child and Ejlert Lövborg’s. I’m burning…burning your child.

Related Characters: Hedda Gabler (speaker), Ejlert Lövborg, Mrs. Thea Elvsted
Related Symbols: Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript, Fire and the Tesmans’ Stove
Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu

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Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript Symbol Timeline in Hedda Gabler

The timeline below shows where the symbol Lövborg and Thea’s Manuscript appears in Hedda Gabler. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
Lövborg pulls out a packet from his coat pocket: it is his new manuscript. He tells Tesman that he should read this when it comes out, because it’s a... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Lövborg hopes to read a bit from his new manuscript to Tesman, but Tesman doesn’t know if he can manage that. Judge Brack explains: he’s... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
...too is going to the drinking party, if only to read to Tesman from his manuscript. He also promises to pick Thea up from the Tesmans’ at ten o’clock that night.... (full context)
Act 3
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
...be at Judge Brack’s. There, she fantasizes, Ejlert Lövborg is even now reading from his manuscript. (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...that he didn’t come home earlier—and he says that Lövborg read to him from his manuscript. It will be one of the most remarkable books ever written, Tesman announces. He also... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
...behind the others. While he was hurrying to catch up, he found Lövborg’s precious, irreplaceable manuscript in a gutter of all places. Tesman picked it up and has it with him... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
...morning coffee—or night coffee, as the case may be. Now Tesman resolves to return Lövborg’s manuscript to him as soon as possible. Please don’t, asks Hedda—she wants to read it first.... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
...that Judge Brack is outside. Hedda orders her to admit him. Hedda the snatches Lövborg’s manuscript from the stool Tesman has laid it on. She promises to care for it, and... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
...madam herself or one of the prostitutes in her employ of robbing him of his manuscript. He started a fight, which devolved into a large brawl, involving ladies and gentlemen both.... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
Hedda goes to the bookshelf and is about to look at Lövborg’s manuscript when she hears an altercation in the hall. Despite Berte’s best efforts, a confused and... (full context)
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...her husband, but Thea refuses to do so—she wants to be with Lövborg when his manuscript is published. (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
Lövborg then turns to the subject of the manuscript, which was his and Thea’s brainchild together. It will never be published because, he lies,... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
...confess—under the condition that Hedda not tell Thea, ever—that he did not tear up his manuscript. In truth, he lost this metaphorical child. (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
Alone, Hedda retrieves Lövborg’s manuscript, looks at some of the pages, and then sits down with it by the stove.... (full context)
Act 4
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...Aunt Rina’s death but also about Lövborg, to whom he has yet to return the manuscript. Tesman also mentions having met Thea Elvsted while out—did you tell her about the manuscript,... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
...utterly wicked? With an almost imperceptible smile, Hedda tells her husband that she put the manuscript in the fire for his sake, because he was so envious of Lövborg’s work, and... (full context)
Power and Influence Theme Icon
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
Tesman becomes uneasy and thoughtful again when he remembers Lövborg’s manuscript. Just then Thea Elvsted enters. She speaks in agitation: she fears that Lövborg may have... (full context)
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
...He must have been, Thea insists, just like he was when he tore up his manuscript. (full context)
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Marriage, Love, Sexuality, and Jealousy Theme Icon
The mention of the manuscript agitates Tesman’s sense of guilt. He drifts about the stage, upset that his old friend... (full context)
Provincialism and Patriarchy Theme Icon
Modern Society v. the Individual Theme Icon
Beauty, Tragedy, and Farce Theme Icon
...attempting to recover “a child that had been lost.” Brack assumed this to mean his manuscript, but then learned that Lövborg himself tore it up, so he takes it to mean... (full context)