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MonkeyNotes-The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen
Table of Contents

Conflict

Protagonist: Hialmar Ekdal is the protagonist of the play. He is a
lazy and idle impostor who lives on illusions and expects his wife,
Gina, to pamper him. He dreams of redeeming his father's name
through a great photographic invention, but his heart is not really
in his photographic work. In fact, Gina and Hedvig, his daughter,
do most of the work in the studio, while Hialmar spends time in the
attic with the wild duck. When Gregers tells him the truth about
Gina's past, he is not able to forgive her. He also questions whether
Hedvig is really his daughter and comes to the conclusion that she
is not; as a result, he rejects Hedvig's deep love for him. When she
kills herself to prove how much she loves her father, Hialmar is
repentant for his actions, but it is too late. The tragedy has already
occurred.

Antagonist: Hialmar's antagonist is really himself. He is an idle
dreamer and egoist who believes he will someday make a great
photographic invention. He is demanding of his wife and daughter,
expecting them to pamper him and do all the work. As an idealist,
he is very disturbed when Gregers, wanting to right the wrongs in
the world and to state the truth, tells him about his wife's past as
Werle's mistress; Hialmar is crushed. He begins to doubt whether
Hedvig is his child, even though he has raised her for fourteen
years. Surprised at Hialmar's reactions, Gregers tries to convince
Hedvig to destroy the wild duck, with which she identifies. After
the duck is gone, she takes her own life, hoping to prove her love
to her father. Hialmar is responsible for her death, but Gregers is a
contributing antagonist.



Climax: The climax is reached at the end of Act III. Gregers takes
Hialmar for a walk and reveals the truth about his marriage and his
father's interest in Hialmar's household. Hialmar is destroyed by
the news and turns his anger on his wife, Gina, and daughter,
Hedvig.

Outcome: The play ends in tragedy, for Hialmar destroys himself.
He is unable to forgive Gina for having been Werle's mistress and
repulses Hedvig's affectionate advances because he thinks she is
Werle's daughter. Hedvig, who adores her father, cannot bear his
rejection. She, therefore, shoots herself in order to prove her love
for her him. Hialmar is repentant for his actions, but it is too late;
the tragic damage is done.

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MonkeyNotes-The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen
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