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Early life

James McFarlane Translator, Introduction. David Eldridge Adapted by. Quotes by Henrik Ibsen. February Short Story Poll. An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde , 78 pages, May 23, Christiania, Norway Norwegian playwright. The Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen made a tremendous impact on the course of Western drama. The best of his plays portray the real-life problems of individuals, with a skillful use of dialogue conversation between individuals in a play and symbols. Henrik Ibsen was born on March 20, , in Skien, Norway. His father was a successful merchant. When Ibsen was eight, his father's business failed, which was a shattering blow to the family.

Ibsen left home at age fifteen and spent six years as a pharmacist's one who prepares and sells drugs that are ordered by doctors assistant in Grimstad, Norway, where he wrote his first play.

In he moved to Christiania Oslo , Norway, to study. In he became assistant stage manager of a new theater in Bergen, Norway, where part of his job was to write one new play a year. Although these plays were mostly unsuccessful, Ibsen gained valuable theater experience.


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Ibsen returned to Christiania in , where he spent the worst period of his life. His plays either failed or were rejected, and he went into debt. He left Norway in , spending the next twenty-seven years in Italy and Germany. He changed his appearance, his habits, and even his handwriting.

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He became distant, secretive, and desperate to protect himself from the real and imagined hostility of others. The main character in Catiline , Ibsen's first play, is torn between two women who represent conflicting forces in himself. Ibsen's other early plays show him struggling to find his voice. The two plays he wrote during his second stay in Christiania were more successful: Ex-parson Johannes Rosmer is the ethical personality, while the adventuress Rebecca West is his antagonist. Two of these plays, Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder , are vitalized by the presence of a demonically idealistic and totally destructive female such as first appeared in Catiline.

Another obsessive personage in these late plays is an aging artist who is bitterly aware of his failing powers. After his return to Norway, Ibsen continued to write plays until a stroke in and another a year later reduced him to a bedridden invalid. He died in Kristiania in Ibsen was in the forefront of those early modern authors whom one could refer to as the great disturbers; he belongs with Fyodor Dostoyevsky , Friedrich Nietzsche , and William Blake.

Ibsen wrote plays about mostly prosaic and commonplace persons, but from them he elicited insights of devastating directness, great subtlety, and occasional flashes of rare beauty. His plots are not cleverly contrived games but deliberate acts of cognition, in which persons are stripped of their accumulated disguises and forced to acknowledge their true selves, for better or worse.

Thus, he made his audiences reexamine with painful earnestness the moral foundation of their being.

Henrik Ibsen (Author of A Doll's House)

During the last half of the 19th century he turned the European stage back from what it had become—a plaything and a distraction for the bored—to make it what it had been long ago among the ancient Greeks, an instrument for passing doom-judgment on the soul. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval.

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Henrik Ibsen Biography

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Together, though in different ways, they exerted a strong influence on the course of acting and writing that has lasted to the present day. Ibsen achieved international recognition through his verse dramas,…. In Norway Henrik Ibsen incorporated in his plays the smug and narrow ambitiousness of his society. The hypocrisy of overbearing men and women replace, in their fashion, the higher powers of the old tragedy.

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First plays and directing

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A Short History Of Henrik Ibsen

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