Henrik Ibsen

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
/wiki/Henrik Ibsencreator
Henrik Ibsen by Gustav Borgen NFB-19775.jpg

Famous Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen is celebrated as a national symbol by Norwegians. Many of Ibsen's plays were critiques of the morality of his time, residing very far to the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism and often having No Ending in a traditional storytelling sense. A noteworthy example is A Dolls House, about a housewife and mother of three who has been taking deceptive means to support her family by herself. Her husband never suspects, but treats her as a child in a big toy house (hence A Doll's House). The play as Ibsen wrote it ended with Nora flat-out leaving her husband after he reveals how he thinks of her: the last sound of the play is described as "the most famous door slam in the history of theater." However, for his German audience, Ibsen was pressured into writing a new ending, where the now self-assured and defiant Nora slips back into her meek role as a housewife when she is reminded of her children. Both endings are usually included in translations of the script, albeit with the German ending in significantly smaller letters.

Ibsen had a notable rivalry with Swedish playwright August Strindberg, who often accused Ibsen of stealing his ideas (claiming that Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, for example, was a ripoff of his own Miss Julie). Ibsen, delighted by the notion of having an archenemy, hung a huge portrait of a glowering Strindberg over his desk, and said that it helped him concentrate.

Works written by Henrik Ibsen include: