Ibsen wrote his plays in Danish the common written language of Denmark and Norway during his lifetime  and they were published by the Danish publisher Gyldendal. Although most of his plays are set in Norway—often in places reminiscent of Skien , the port town where he grew up—Ibsen lived for 27 years in Italy and Germany, and rarely visited Norway during his most productive years.
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW
Born into a merchant family connected to the patriciate of Skien, Ibsen shaped his dramas according to his family background. He was the father of Prime Minister Sigurd Ibsen. Ibsen's dramas have a strong influence upon contemporary culture. Ibsen was born to Knud Ibsen — and Marichen Altenburg — , into a well-to-do merchant family, in the small port town of Skien in Telemark county, a city which was noted for shipping timber.
As he wrote in an letter to critic and scholar Georg Brandes , "my parents were members on both sides of the most respected families in Skien", explaining that he was closely related with "just about all the patrician families who then dominated the place and its surroundings", mentioning the families Paus , Plesner , von der Lippe , Cappelen and Blom. Knud Ibsen's paternal ancestors were ship captains of Danish origin, but he decided to become a merchant, and had some initial success.
His marriage to Marichen Altenburg, a daughter of ship-owner Johan Andreas Altenburg — and Hedevig Christine Paus — , was a successful match. Hedvig Paus must have been well known to the young dramatist, for she lived until She sacrificed herself time and time again. There was no bitterness or reproach in her. His father's financial ruin would have a strong influence on Ibsen's later work; the characters in his plays often mirror his parents, and his themes often deal with issues of financial difficulty as well as moral conflicts stemming from dark secrets hidden from society.
Ibsen would both model and name characters in his plays after his own family. A central theme in Ibsen's plays is the portrayal of suffering women, echoing his mother Marichen Altenburg ; Ibsen's sympathy with women would eventually find significant expression with their portrayal in dramas such as A Doll's House and Rosmersholm.
At fifteen, Ibsen was forced to leave school. He moved to the small town of Grimstad to become an apprentice pharmacist and began writing plays. Ibsen went to Christiania later renamed Kristiania and then Oslo intending to matriculate at the university. He soon rejected the idea his earlier attempts at entering university were blocked as he did not pass all his entrance exams , preferring to commit himself to writing. His first play, the tragedy Catilina , was published under the pseudonym "Brynjolf Bjarme", when he was only 22, but it was not performed.
His first play to be staged, The Burial Mound , received little attention. Still, Ibsen was determined to be a playwright, although the numerous plays he wrote in the following years remained unsuccessful. In Ibsen's youth, Wergeland was the most acclaimed, and by far the most read, Norwegian poet and playwright.
He spent the next several years employed at Det norske Theater Bergen , where he was involved in the production of more than plays as a writer, director, and producer. During this period, he published five new, though largely unremarkable, plays. Despite Ibsen's failure to achieve success as a playwright, he gained a great deal of practical experience at the Norwegian Theater, experience that was to prove valuable when he continued writing.
Ibsen returned to Christiania in to become the creative director of the Christiania Theatre. He married Suzannah Thoresen on 18 June and she gave birth to their only child Sigurd on 23 December The couple lived in very poor financial circumstances and Ibsen became very disenchanted with life in Norway. In , he left Christiania and went to Sorrento in Italy in self-imposed exile. He didn't return to his native land for the next 27 years, and when he returned to it he was a noted, but controversial, playwright. His next play, Brand , brought him the critical acclaim he sought, along with a measure of financial success, as did the following play, Peer Gynt , to which Edvard Grieg famously composed incidental music and songs.
Ibsen's next play Peer Gynt was consciously informed by Kierkegaard. With success, Ibsen became more confident and began to introduce more and more of his own beliefs and judgements into the drama, exploring what he termed the "drama of ideas". His next series of plays are often considered his Golden Age, when he entered the height of his power and influence, becoming the center of dramatic controversy across Europe. Ibsen moved from Italy to Dresden , Germany, in , where he spent years writing the play he regarded as his main work, Emperor and Galilean , dramatizing the life and times of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate.
Although Ibsen himself always looked back on this play as the cornerstone of his entire works, very few shared his opinion, and his next works would be much more acclaimed. Ibsen moved to Munich in and began work on his first contemporary realist drama The Pillars of Society , first published and performed in This play is a scathing criticism of the marital roles accepted by men and women which characterized Ibsen's society.
A Dolls House (Plays for Performance Series) by Henrik Ibsen
Ghosts followed in , another scathing commentary on the morality of Ibsen's society, in which a widow reveals to her pastor that she had hidden the evils of her marriage for its duration. But his philandering continued right up until his death, and his vices are passed on to their son in the form of syphilis.
The mention of venereal disease alone was scandalous, but to show how it could poison a respectable family was considered intolerable. In An Enemy of the People , Ibsen went even further. In earlier plays, controversial elements were important and even pivotal components of the action, but they were on the small scale of individual households.
In An Enemy , controversy became the primary focus, and the antagonist was the entire community. One primary message of the play is that the individual, who stands alone, is more often "right" than the mass of people, who are portrayed as ignorant and sheeplike. Contemporary society's belief was that the community was a noble institution that could be trusted, a notion Ibsen challenged. In An Enemy of the People , Ibsen chastised not only the conservatism of society, but also the liberalism of the time.
ynykyvykeb.tk: Plays For Performance Series
He illustrated how people on both sides of the social spectrum could be equally self-serving. An Enemy of the People was written as a response to the people who had rejected his previous work, Ghosts. The plot of the play is a veiled look at the way people reacted to the plot of Ghosts. The protagonist is a physician in a vacation spot whose primary draw is a public bath. The doctor discovers that the water is contaminated by the local tannery. He expects to be acclaimed for saving the town from the nightmare of infecting visitors with disease, but instead he is declared an 'enemy of the people' by the locals, who band against him and even throw stones through his windows.
The play ends with his complete ostracism. It is obvious to the reader that disaster is in store for the town as well as for the doctor. As audiences by now expected, Ibsen's next play again attacked entrenched beliefs and assumptions; but this time, his attack was not against society's mores, but against overeager reformers and their idealism. Always an iconoclast, Ibsen was equally willing to tear down the ideologies of any part of the political spectrum, including his own.
The Wild Duck is by many considered Ibsen's finest work, and it is certainly the most complex. It tells the story of Gregers Werle, a young man who returns to his hometown after an extended exile and is reunited with his boyhood friend Hjalmar Ekdal. Over the course of the play, the many secrets that lie behind the Ekdals' apparently happy home are revealed to Gregers, who insists on pursuing the absolute truth, or the "Summons of the Ideal". Among these truths: Gregers' father impregnated his servant Gina, then married her off to Hjalmar to legitimize the child.
Another man has been disgraced and imprisoned for a crime the elder Werle committed. Furthermore, while Hjalmar spends his days working on a wholly imaginary "invention", his wife is earning the household income. Ibsen displays masterful use of irony: despite his dogmatic insistence on truth, Gregers never says what he thinks but only insinuates, and is never understood until the play reaches its climax.
Gregers hammers away at Hjalmar through innuendo and coded phrases until he realizes the truth; Gina's daughter, Hedvig, is not his child. Blinded by Gregers' insistence on absolute truth, he disavows the child. Seeing the damage he has wrought, Gregers determines to repair things, and suggests to Hedvig that she sacrifice the wild duck, her wounded pet, to prove her love for Hjalmar.
Hedvig, alone among the characters, recognizes that Gregers always speaks in code, and looking for the deeper meaning in the first important statement Gregers makes which does not contain one, kills herself rather than the duck in order to prove her love for him in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice. Only too late do Hjalmar and Gregers realize that the absolute truth of the "ideal" is sometimes too much for the human heart to bear.
Late in his career, Ibsen turned to a more introspective drama that had much less to do with denunciations of society's moral values and more to do with the problems of individuals. In such later plays as Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder , Ibsen explored psychological conflicts that transcended a simple rejection of current conventions. Many modern readers, who might regard anti-Victorian didacticism as dated, simplistic or hackneyed, have found these later works to be of absorbing interest for their hard-edged, objective consideration of interpersonal confrontation.
Hedda Gabler is probably Ibsen's most performed play, [ citation needed ] with the title role regarded as one of the most challenging and rewarding for an actress even in the present day. Hedda Gabler and A Doll's House center on female protagonists whose almost demonic energy proves both attractive and destructive for those around them, and while Hedda has a few similarities with the character of Nora in A Doll's House , many of today's audiences and theatre critics [ who? Ibsen had completely rewritten the rules of drama with a realism which was to be adopted by Chekhov and others and which we see in the theatre to this day.
From Ibsen forward, challenging assumptions and directly speaking about issues has been considered one of the factors that makes a play art rather than entertainment. See all. Item information Condition:. Sign in to check out Check out as a guest.
The item you've selected wasn't added to your cart. Add to watch list Unwatch. Watch list is full. Longtime member. No additional import charges at delivery!
This item will be posted through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab. This amount is subject to change until you make payment. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. Item location:. Temecula, California, United States.
Posts to:. United States and many other countries See details. For additional information, see the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab This amount includes applicable customs duties, taxes, brokerage and other fees. Estimated between Mon. Delivery times may vary, especially during peak periods. See payment information. International postage and import charges paid to Pitney Bowes Inc. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab International postage and import charges paid to Pitney Bowes Inc.
Learn more - opens in a new window or tab Any international postage and import charges are paid in part to Pitney Bowes Inc. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab International postage paid to Pitney Bowes Inc. Learn more - opens in a new window or tab Any international postage is paid in part to Pitney Bowes Inc.
Report item - opens in a new window or tab. Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Item specifics Condition: Very good : A book that does not look new and has been read but is in excellent condition. Peter Gowen. Nils Krogstad Original. View All Cast. Henrik Ibsen. Frank McGuinness.
New Version. Jason Carr. Charlotte Barslund. From a Literal Translation. Anthony Page. View All Production Team. Pro Info First Preview. Mar 25 Opening Date. Apr 2 Closing Date. Aug 31 View Playbill Pro. Inside The Playbill. Click to Shop Now.