Medea and Hedda Gabbler are two different plays, yet both have very similar motives in the end. Both women seek to control the destiny of the men in their lives. The reasons are not by the decision of either women, but by the hands of Fate, something out of their control. Both women are respectively different, with different degrees of action and success. Two women needing to control destiny bring two very different motives together.
Medea and Hedda have two very different reasons for desiring control over the destiny of their mens lives. Medeas desire for control over Jason, and the subsequent death of her children, is spawned by her unfair treatment and spurning by Jason, where as Hedda has very different reasons. Hedda has not been scorned by any one person really, but she is stuck in a mans world, as a woman, where she has absolutely no control, marking her desire to control the destiny of Eilert Lovborg. Medea is pushed by the force of fate, as if she has no control over her actions.
She is a strong willed woman, doing what she must, coming out as the victor in the end. Hedda, however, comes out quite differently. Heddas fear of scandal really prevents her from having any strong hold on the situation that will turn out successfully. This is proven in the end when Hedda commits suicide-she has lost control and is not strong enough to handle the ensuing scandal. Although out of the two actions, the worst seems to be Medeas, it is also Medeas actions that merit the most excuse as defense. She was having everything taken away from her, and she could not stop it, so she took the only action possible to make Jason understand how he had wronged her. Medea and Hedda, different in motive, actually are not all that different in their nature.
Medea and Hedda come from very different backgrounds, yet the way that they were raised can be compared with many similarities. Both Medea and Hedda were not raised as the proper woman should be, but rather, as women who are different, the exceptions. They each have been raised strong willed and independent, able to think by themselves and fight their own battles. The flaw, it seems, is that in both cases, they live in a mans world, a place that does not allow for their independence. Medea most definitely proves to be the stronger of the two, as she is victorious in her plight, killing her own children, a heart rendering decision for a mother.
Hedda, however, is weak, mostly based on her fear of scandal. She kills herself in the end, to avoid scandal and leading a life that did not suit her. As for the quote, the line that sums up the situations of both Medea and Hedda is, Nature forces each to violence as the only means of escape. Such is explained by the womens wills and characters, neither were able to live unless they had made some profound effect on others and gained a certain respect in doing so. Both are dreadfully out of place in their societies, their flaws and nature itself driving them to horrible violence.
In both cases, the men greatly fail to live up to the standards of the womens expectations. It seems, that Jason, however, is the most shameful of the two. It is Jason who abandons Medea after she loves him and gives him her all, and then her proceeds to have her driven from town, along with their sons. Jasons actions are pure cowardice and fear of Medea, but even sadder yet is that he is blind to all of the pain and misfortune he has caused.
Jason, unlike Eilert Lovborg, is spared his life, so that he may eventually see the consequences of his actions. The fate of both are rather on the pathetic side, but more so is that of Jason. It is Jason that must live with his mistakes, Jason that will be forever scorned and looked upon as a sort of plague on any household. At least Eilert Lovborg had the escape of death, though not really by his choice. Eilert will not have to face people after his shameful night with Tesman and Brack.
The chorus of Medea, performed by the women of Corinth, can be compared to the roles of Judge Brack and Aunt Julia in Hedda Gabbler. Brack and Aunt Julia serve to give explanations of sort to certain actions and consequences and vent certain worries to the audience that otherwise may not be apparent. They are a very limited chorus in the fact that they cannot be ever present on the stage with Hedda to explain her actions. Both of the characters interpret Hedda in different ways. Aunt Julia sees Hedda as a delicate woman, but although she does bot come out and say it, she views Hedda almost as stuck up in a way, especially after the bonnet incident.
Judge Brack, on the other hand, sees Hedda as normal woman who should be doing woman things, despite the fascination he sees with her and guns. Brack serves his purpose to outline her fear of scandal, especially when he threatens her with one that she has created and he can take advantage of.
Oscar Wildes famous line, Yet each man kills the thing he loves, illustrates much about Medea and Hedda. Medea is the most outstanding example of the quote, however, as even after she has taken the action of killing her sons, she continues to love Jason and wreak havoc upon his life. He is basically a condemned man, the cause of evil wherever he goes henceforth.
All this Jason has brought upon himself through Medeas anger towards him and his ignorant actions. Hedda, on the other hand, simply is bored with her life. She has no entertainment, she is not a normal woman. Therefore she singles out Eilert Lovborg and seeks to control his destiny by helping him along the lines to death. If at one point she did ever love him, it is not very apparent in the manner that she persists in making him suffer.