Hedda's married name is Hedda Tesman; Gabler is her maiden name. On the subject of the title, Ibsen wrote: "My intention in giving it this name was to indicate that Hedda as a personality is to be regarded rather as her father's daughter than her husband's wife." Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic general, has just returned to her villa in Kristiania (now Oslo) from her honeymoon.
Her husband is Jørgen Tesman, an aspiring, young, reliable (but not brilliant) academic who has combined research with their honeymoon. It becomes clear in the course of the play that she has never loved him but has married him for reasons pertaining to the boring nature of her life.