In these three unforgettably intense plays, Henrick Ibsen explores the problems of personal and social morality that he perceived in the world around him and, in particular, the complex nature of truth.
About The Author
Henrik Ibsen was born of well-to-do parents at Skien, a small
Norwegian coastal town, on March 20, 1828. In 1836 his father went
bankrupt, and the family was reduced to near poverty. At the age of
fifteen, he was apprenticed to an apothecary in Grimstad. In 1850 Ibsen
ventured to Christiania—present-day Oslo—as a student, with the hope of
becoming a doctor. On the strength of his first two plays he was
appointed 'theater-poet' to the new Bergen National Theater, where he
wrote five conventional romantic and historical dramas and absorbed the
elements of his craft.
In 1857 he was called to the directorship of the financially unsound
Christiania Norwegian Theater, which failed in 1862. In 1864, exhausted
and enraged by the frustration of his efforts toward a national drama
and theater, he quit Norway for what became twenty-seven years of
voluntary exile abroad. In Italy he wrote the volcanic Brand (1866),
which made his reputation and secured him a poet's stipend from the
government. Its companion piece, the phantasmagoric Peer Gynt, followed
in 1867, then the immense double play, Emperor and Galilean (1873),
expressing his philosophy of civilization.
Meanwhile, having moved to Germany, Ibsen had been searching for a
new style. With The Pillars of Society he found it; this became the
first of twelve plays, appearing at two-year intervals, that confirmed
his international standing as the foremost dramatist of his age. In
1900 Ibsen suffered the first of several strokes that incapacitated
him. He died in Oslo on May 23, 1906.