Fearing rejection by her community, Helene Alving stayed with her philandering husband up until his death. She finds out that her son Osvald not only has congenital syphilis, but is in love with the maid without knowing she is his half-sister. Eventually Mrs. Alving must face the cruel choice of euthanizing her own son as he descends into a syphilitic madness. As with Ibsen's A Doll's House, Ghosts was an intentionally controversial work, through rather than being seen as a bold look at a forbidden topic, it was seen by many as merely shocking and indecent, with one critic describing it as "a dirty deed done in public." At the time, the mere mention of venereal disease was scandalous, but to inflict it upon a character who abides by the moral code of society was inconceivable.
A Doll's House is a three-act play in prose by the playwright Henrik Ibsen. The play was controversial when first published, as it is sharply critical of 19th century marriage norms. Michael Meyer argues that the play's theme is not women's rights, but rather "the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person." A Doll's House was based on the life of Laura Kieler (maiden name Laura Smith Petersen). She was a good friend of Ibsen. Much that happened between Nora and Torvald happened to Laura and her husband, Victor, with the most important exception being the forged signature that was the basis of Nora's loan. In real life, when Victor found out about Laura's secret loan, he divorced her and had her committed to an asylum. Two years later, she returned to her husband and children at his urging, and she went on to become a well-known Danish author, living to the age of 83.
A masterpiece of modern theater, Hedda Gabler is a dark psychological drama whose powerful and reckless heroine has tested the mettle of leading actresses of every generation since its first production in Norway in 1890. Ibsen's Hedda is an aristocratic and spiritually hollow woman, nearly devoid of redeeming virtues. George Bernard Shaw described her as having "no conscience, no conviction … she remains mean, envious, insolent, cruel, in protest against others' happiness." Her feeling of anger and jealousy toward a former schoolmate and her ruthless manipulation of her husband and an earlier admirer lead her down a destructive path that ends abruptly with her own tragic demise. Presented in this handsome, inexpensive edition, Hedda Gabler offers an unforgettable experience for any lover of great drama or fine literature. Among the most performed and studied of Ibsen's dramas, it continues to provoke and challenge audiences and readers all over the world.
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's play Hedda Gabler was first published in 1890. Despite premiering the next year to negative reviews, the play since been hailed as a classic work of realism, with the character Hedda being considered by some critics as one of the great dramatic roles; a female Hamlet. Gabler is actually the character's maiden name rather than her name by marriage (which is Hedda Tesman); on entitling it this 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 returns, dissatisfied, from a long honeymoon. Bored by her aspiring academic husband, she foresees a life of tedious convention. And so, aided and abetted by her predatory confidante, Judge Brack, she begins to manipulate the fates of those around her to devastating effect.
Brian Friel's version of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler premiered at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in September 2008, to celebrate the theatre's birthday, eighty years after the Gate's inaugural production of Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote An Enemy of the People in 1882 as a response to the public outrage over his play Ghosts. Part comedy, part serious drama, the play looks at Dr. Thomas Stockmann's struggle to uphold the truth in the face of intolerance and willful ignorance, as his entire community turns against him. Branded an "Enemy of the People," Dr. Stockmann can only take solace in the idea that "the strongest man in the world is the man who stands most alone."
Widely regarded as one of the foremost dramatists of the nineteenth century, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) brought the social problems and ideas of his day to center stage. Creating realistic plays of psychological conflict that emphasized character over cunning plots, he frequently inspired critical objections because his dramas deemed the individual more important than the group. In this powerful work, Ibsen places his main characters, Dr. Thomas Stockman, in the role of an enlightened and persecuted minority of one confronting an ignorant, powerful majority. When the physician learns that the famous and financially successful baths in his hometown are contaminated, he insists they be shut down for expensive repairs. For his honesty, he is persecuted, ridiculed, and declared an "enemy of the people" by the townspeople, included some who have been his closest allies. First staged in 1883, An Enemy of the People remains one of the most frequently performed plays by a writer considered by many the "father of modern drama." This easily affordable edition makes available to students, teachers, and general readers a major work by one of the world's great playwrights.
Among the masterpieces of world literature, this early verse drama by the celebrated Norwegian playwright humorously yet profoundly explores the virtues, vices, and follies common to all humanity — as represented in the person of Peer Gynt, a charming but irresponsible young peasant. Based on Norwegian folklore and Ibsen’s own imaginative inventions, the play relates the roguish life of the world-wandering Peer, who finds wealth and fame — but never happiness — although he is redeemed by love in the end. As the play opens the young farmer attends a wedding and meets Solveig, the woman who is eventually to be his salvation. However, the rascally Peer then kidnaps the bride and later abandons her in the wilderness. This dismal performance is followed by a string of adventures (many of which do not reflect well on Peer) in many lands. After these soul-chilling exploits, an old and embittered Peer returns to Norway, eventually finding solace in the arms of the faithful Solveig. Like other early Ibsen plays, such as Brand (1866) and Emperor and Galilean (1874), the work is imbued with poetic mysticism and romanticism, and in Peer we find a rebellious central character in search of an ultimate truth that always seems just out of reach. In this sense Peer can be seen as an alter ego of Ibsen himself, whose lifelong search for artistic and moral certainties resulted in the great later plays (Hedda Gabler, The Wild Duck, An Enemy of the People, etc.) upon which his reputation chiefly rests. This rich, poetic version of Peer Gynt is considered the standard translation.
The foremost dramatist of his age, Ibsen changed theatre forever with his realistic dialogue and depiction of contemporary social problems. Here are four of his greatest works: Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, The Lady From the Sea, and John Gabriel Borkman.
This 1884 masterpiece may have its genesis in the hostile reception Ibsen — widely regarded as the father of modern realist drama — had received from the Norwegian public and critics for Ghosts (1881), which gave theater-goers a larger dose of truth than most were willing to bear. His next three plays — The Wild Duck, An Enemy of the People (1882), and Rosmersholm (1886) — focused on the consequences of telling the truth, or forbearing to do so. In The Wild Duck, the idealistic son of a corrupt merchant exposes his father's duplicity, but in the process destroys the very people he wishes to save. Convinced that reality is always superior to illusion, Gregers Werle forces his friends, the Ekdals, to face the truth about their lives. Unfortunately, the truth, involving scandal, illegitimacy, imprisonment, and madness, only serves to wound the Ekdals further. In the play, the wild duck is a symbol of this injured family, and perhaps of the loss of Ibsen's youthful idealism. Moving and powerful, this thought-provoking tragedy shows clearly why Ibsen is regarded as one of the giants of modern theater.
This carefully crafted ebook: “The Best of Henrik Ibsen: A Doll's House + Hedda Gabler + Ghosts + An Enemy of the People + The Wild Duck + Peer Gynt (Illustrated)” contains 6 books in one volume and is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. 1. A Doll's House is a three-act play in prose by Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1879. The play is significant for its critical attitude toward 19th century marriage norms. It aroused great controversy at the time, as it concludes with the protagonist, Nora, leaving her husband and children because she wants to discover herself. 2. Hedda Gabler is a play published in 1890. It premiered in 1891 in Germany and gained recognition as a classic of realism, nineteenth century theatre, and world drama. Hedda may be portrayed as an idealistic heroine fighting society, a victim of circumstance, a prototypical feminist, or a manipulative villain. 3. Ghosts is a play written in 1881 and first staged in 1882. Like many of Ibsen's better-known plays, Ghosts is a scathing commentary on 19th-century morality. Ghosts had challenged the hypocrisy of Victorian morality and was deemed indecent for its veiled references to syphilis. 4. An Enemy of the people is an 1882 play originally written in Danish in response to the public outcry against his play Ghosts, which at that time was considered scandalous. 5. The Wild Duck (1884), in a sense, solved Ibsen's own moral dilemma as he struggled between a militant idealism (as in Enemy of the People) and his own worldly temperament. With a pragmatic, anti-romantic viewpoint, this drama presents a continuum between the opposing values of the Ideal and the Real. 6. Peer Gynt is a five-act play in verse, based on the fairy tale Per Gynt. Written in the Dano-Norwegian language, it was first published in 1867. In Peer Gynt, Ibsen satirized the weaknesses of the Norwegian people, incorporating them into the character of Peer. Henrik Johan Ibsen (1828 – 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism in theatre. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder.
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