chapter  VI
The Paradox of Will
Pages 9

Hedda Gabler is extremely detached as a work of art, the master builder can be called a personal confession in disguise. At the age of sixty-four and at the height of his fame, Ibsen held in this work a 'doomsday' over himself by assessing his previous endeavours, aspirations, victories and defeats. The master-builder Solness, unlike so many of Ibsen's characters, cannot say that he had been frustrated in his vocation. He was fortunate enough to have found early enough that life-task which gave an outlet to his talent and ambitions. There is something of Rebecca's vitality in Hilda Wangel. She is her healthy counterpart, though, devoid of hardness and perversity, and entirely under the sway of her own romantic dreaming. Even before Hilda 'knocked at the door', Solness had discovered, to his own grief, that to remain stuck in one's own self meant to be imprisoned.