Study Questions and Essay Topics
A number of critics have noted how Relling and Gregers compete over Hialmar's fate. What does Relling think of Gregers's appeals to the ideal? How does he change the terms of the discussion of Hialmar's situation?
Many critics have noted that Ibsen's plays stage the demystification of the romantic stage hero. How does this demystification take place in The Wild Duck?
Consider the use of space in The Wild Duck. What is the significance, for example, of the structure of the Ekdal home?
Suggested Essay Topics
Why does the action of the play take place in a photography studio? How do photographs function in the play?
Consider the difference symbols of temporality in the play. What is the significance, for example, of the garret's stopped clock? Hedvig's history book? The image of the woman, Death, and the hourglass?
How does lighting function in the play? Consider the change in lighting between acts, the use of artificial light (lamps), and the lighting in different playing spaces (the studio as opposed to the garret).
Consider the trope of revenge in The Wild Duck. Who is out for revenge? On what terms? In whose name? For what injuries? How might one read Ekdal's refrain that the woods avenge themselves?
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