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Hedda Gabler & Sirens: Elektra in Bosnia

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A contemporary reimagining of two controversial female protagonists in literature, and the marginalized voices of women in history.


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A contemporary reimagining of two controversial female protagonists in literature, and the marginalized voices of women in history.

17 review for Hedda Gabler & Sirens: Elektra in Bosnia

  1. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

    Hedda Gabler: I haven't actually read or seen Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, but from what I know of the plotline, Thompson's version hews pretty close except for a significant difference at the end. This is a hard play for me to wrap my head around because there seem to be a lot of conflicting elements--mostly having to do with Hedda's attempts to control those around her. I actually think the best term to describe her is a kind of affluenza. She obviously comes from a place of privilege, and she wants Hedda Gabler: I haven't actually read or seen Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, but from what I know of the plotline, Thompson's version hews pretty close except for a significant difference at the end. This is a hard play for me to wrap my head around because there seem to be a lot of conflicting elements--mostly having to do with Hedda's attempts to control those around her. I actually think the best term to describe her is a kind of affluenza. She obviously comes from a place of privilege, and she wants power over people but doesn't necessarily have any particular goal. She wants to be admired by her husband, Judge Brack, and Eilert Lovborg, but she doesn't seem to have anything in particular she wants from them. She wants power over them (and over Thea Elvsted), but it seems like the power is the goal in itself, rather than anything she actually wants to accomplish. At the same time, she does want to impose a romantic fantasy on Lovborg, imagining his baccanalian revels as a kind of classical ecstasy where he is shining and crowned with laurels, then demanding that he commit suicide "beautifully." But in both instances the reality is far more squalid and disgusting. The other aspect of Hedda is that she is unwilling to be in anyone else's power, whether the Judge's desire for sexual access to her or even her husband's largely illusory power (he basically just wants to live a boring middle class academic life). https://youtu.be/v7GdJQvoNA8 Sirens: Elektra in Bosnia: This is an amazing adaptation of the Elektra myth, relocated to the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. The myth is framed by the massacres, mass rapes, executions, and ethnic hatreds of the Bosnian conflict, but still has the personal animosities and revenge motives of the Greek tales. One of the most interesting elements here is the frame story, where Elektra has been taken by the Furies to a kind of Prometheus-style hell, where everyday she is doomed to repeat her story to enemy soldiers who then torture and murder her--unless she can find Clytemnestra's forgiveness. But this is also a metatheatrical frame, because Elektra and the Furies also say that the decision to grant her forgiveness is also based on the audience, so ethical responsibility is located with the viewer in a really interesting metatheatrical twist. We are made responsible for transcending the violence of Elektra murdering her mother, and by extension the violence of Agamemnon sacrificing Iphigenia (which is much more indirect here--she volunteers to be a hostage for Menelaus' army in a deal to get them to stop executing hundreds of Muslim men per day, but when the deal falls through because of an accident, Iphigenia is brutally raped and tortured before being killed, and a video tape of the violence is dumped with her body on Clytemnestra's doorstep), and the violence of the ethnic and religious hatreds of the Balkans conflict. https://youtu.be/I0A7Lui_54o

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cbsd library

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Mrenica

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Bedwell

  6. 4 out of 5

    Playwrights Canada Press

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alisa Harder

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gazmend Kryeziu

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  10. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chrys Mark

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  13. 5 out of 5

    yago

  14. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Guidotti

  15. 5 out of 5

    TJ

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Slack

  17. 5 out of 5

    jessica abdallah

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