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The play is significant for the way it deals with the fate of a married woman, who at the time in Norway lacked reasonable opportunities for self-fulfillment in a male-dominated world, despite the fact that Ibsen denies it was his intent to write a feminist play. It aroused a great sensation at the time, and caused a "storm of outraged controversy" that went beyond the theatre to the world newspapers and society.
In 2006, the centennial of Ibsen's death, A Doll's House held the distinction of being the world's most performed play that year. UNESCO has inscribed Ibsen's autographed manuscripts of A Doll's House on the Memory of the World Register in 2001, in recognition of their historical value.
The title of the play is most commonly translated as A Doll's House, though some scholars use A Doll House. John Simon says that A Doll's House is "the British term for what [Americans] call a 'dollhouse'". Egil Törnqvist says of the alternative title: "Rather than being superior to the traditional rendering, it simply sounds more idiomatic to Americans."
When Dr. Stockmann discovers that the water in the small Norwegian town in which he is the resident physician has been contaminated, he does what any responsible citizen would do: reports it to the authorities. But Stockmann's good deed has the potential to ruin the town's reputation as a popular spa destination, and instead of being hailed as a hero, Stockmann is labeled an enemy of the people. Arthur Miller's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's classic drama is a classic in itself, a penetrating exploration of what happens when the truth comes up against the will of the majority. This edition includes Arthur Miller’s preface and an introduction by John Guare.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
A Doll's House (Et dukkehjem)
An Enemy of the People (En Folkefiende)
Hedda Gabler (Hedda Gabler)
John Gabriel Borkman
Lady Inger of Oestraat (Fru Inger til Østeraad)
Little Eyolf (Lille Eyolf)
Love's Comedy (Kjærlighedens Komedie)
Peer Gynt (Peer Gynt)
Pillars of Society (Samfundets støtter)
The Lady from the Sea (Fruen fra havet)
The Master Builder (Bygmester Solness)
The Warrior's Barrow (Kjæmpehøjen)
The Vikings of Helgeland (Hærmændene paa Helgeland)
The Wild Duck (Vildanden)
When We Dead Awaken (Når vi døde vågner)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henrik Johan Ibsen 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 the theatre. Several of his plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was required to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. It utilized a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. The poetic and cinematic play Peer Gynt, however, has strong surreal elements.
Ibsen is often ranked as one of the truly great playwrights in the European tradition. Richard Hornby describes him as "a profound poetic dramatist—the best since Shakespeare". He is widely regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare.
He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, James Joyce, and Eugene O'Neill.
A Doll House • The Wild Duck • Hedda Gabler • The Master Builder
Among the greatest and best known of Ibsen’s works, these four plays brilliantly exemplify his landmark contributions to the theater: his realistic dialogue, probing of social problems, and depiction of characters’ inner lives as well as their actions. Rich in symbolism and often autobiographical, each of these dramas deals convincingly and provocatively with such universal themes as greed, fear, and sexual hostility, and confronts the eternal conflict between reality and illusion. These Rolf Fjelde translations have been widely acclaimed as the definitive versions of the major works of the father of modern theater.
Translated and with a Foreword by Rolf Fjelde
And an Afterword by Joan Templeton
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.
I Fruen fra havet tar Ibsen opp problematikken omkring hvilke konsekvenser valgene man tar får for seg selv og andre.
Doktor Wangel er lege i en liten kystby i Nord-Norge. Han har to døtre fra sitt første ekteskap, Bolette og Hilde. Etter at hans første kone døde, giftet han seg med Ellida, som er mye yngre enn ham. Hun er datter av en fyrvokter, og har vokst opp ute i havgapet. Ellida og Wangel fikk en gutt sammen, som døde som spedbarn. Etter den tid har de ikke hatt noe skikkelig ekteskap eller seksualliv, og doktoren er bekymret for Ellidas mentale helse.
Doktor Wangel har skrevet til Bolettes tidligere huslærer Arnholm og invitert ham til å komme og besøke dem, fordi han tror det vil ha gunstig virkning på Ellida. Men Arnholm misforstår og tror det er Bolette som går og venter på ham, og han prøve å lokke henne til seg ved å bruke muligheten til å komme seg ut i verden som agn. Da Bollete skjønner at Arnholms egentlige ønske er et ekteskap, nekter hun først, men mot slutten av skuespillet går hun motstrebende med på å gifte seg med sin gamle lærer. Dette gjør hun kun siden hun ser det som sin eneste mulighet til å komme seg ut i verden og få lære ting på andre måter enn fra bøker.
Ellida var for ti år siden forlovet med en sjømann. Etter å ha begått et mord på en skipskaptein ble han nødt til å rømme, men han ba henne om å vente på ham til han kom tilbake for å hente henne. Hun forsøkte forgjeves å heve forlovelsen, men siden Ellida følte at hun sverget ved havet på å gifte seg med den fremmende, klarer hun ikke skyve ham fra seg. Denne fremmede mannen har en dragende makt over henne, og når han nå etter alle disse årene kommer tilbake for å ta henne med seg, forstår Wangel at han er nødt til å gi Ellida valget i frihet mellom å bli hos ham eller reise med den fremmede. Hun velger da å bli hos sin mann, og stykket ender med at den fremmede drar sin vei mens Ellida og Wangel tar fatt på sitt nye samliv.
Tesman's Aunt Julia is there to welcome them home. Hedda is quite rude to the older woman, so Julia leaves quickly. After her departure, Mrs. Elvsted arrives to let the Tesmans know that Eilert Lovborg, Tesman's academic nemesis, has returned to town after having fallen into alcoholism and taken two years to achieve sobriety and return to society. Mrs. Elvsted hints to Hedda that she truly loves Lovborg, and doesn't care about her husband anymore - but that she's worried that Lovborg's return to the city will mean that he'll start drinking again.
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.