Even though Ibsen withdrew from his Norwegian starting point in the1870s and became "a European," he was always deeply marked bythe country he left in 1864, and to which he first returned as an agingcelebrity. It was not easy for him to return. The many years abroad, andthe long struggle for recognition, had left their indelible stamp. Towardsthe end of his career, he said that he really was not happy with the fantasticlife he had lived. He felt homeless - even in his mother country.
Peer is the weak, spineless person - Brand's antithesis. But it isprecisely in Ibsen's living portrayal of a personality's "dissolution"in changing roles, that some historians of the theater see the harbingerof a modernistic perception of the individual. The British drama researcherRonald Gaskell puts it this way: inauguratesthe drama of the modern mind", and he continues: "Indeed, ifSurrealism and Expressionism in the theater can be said to have any singlesource, the source is undoubtedly .
What he had earlier treated as a national problem of identity nowbecame a question of the individual's personal integrity. It was no longersufficient to dwell on an earlier historical era of greatness and focuson the continuity of the nation's life. Ibsen turned away from history,and confronted what he considered the main contemporary problem - a nationcan only rise up culturally by means of the individual's exertion of will."Brand" is mainly a drama with a message that the individualmust follow the path of volition in order to achieve true humanity In addition,this is the only way to real freedom - for the individual, and it follows,for society as a whole.
You see, Torvald loves me beyond words, and, as he puts it, he'd like to keep me all to himself. For a long time he'd almost be jealous if I even mentioned any of my old friends back home. So of course I dropped that. But with Dr. Rank I talk a lot about such things, because he likes hearing about them. (1585)From this statement the reader is able to understand that Nora is puttingaside her true self to please Torvald. On the other hand, when she is withRank she is no longer acting the part of a "doll." Rank's friendshipwith Torvald is also revealing, and through their friendship the readercan see Torvald's inconsistencies. In the play Torvald describes the effectsof Krogstad's moral corruptness as "poisoning his own children with liesand pretense . . ." (1583). The reader can connect this statement withthe fact that Rank is also a product of a morally corrupt father, yet Torvaldcontinues their friendship. Rank's friendship with Torvald reveals himto be a man who will act only in ways to benefit himself, not thinkingof what he may have once declared to be truth. Ibsen uses Rank to makethese truths about Nora and Torvald's personalities evident to the reader.
Henrik Ibsen Ghosts Essay, Expository Essay We Are What We E
It is the tragic life feeling itself that gives Ibsen's drama itsspecial character, the experience of missing out on life and plodding alongin a state of living death. The alternative is pictured as a utopian existencein freedom, truth and love - in short - a happy life. In Ibsen's worldthe main character strives toward a goal, but this struggle leads out intothe cold, to loneliness. Yet the possibility of opting for another routeis always there, one can chose human warmth and contact. The problem forIbsen's protagonist is that both choices can appear to be good, and theindividual does not see the consequences of the decision.
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Understandably, some students of Ibsen have fallen into the temptationof drawing a parallel between life and art, and see this work as a mercilessself-denunciation. Once again, isby no means auto-biographical. Rubek's relationship with the writer hasto be sought on a deeper level - in the conflicts that Ibsen, toward theend of his life, saw as a general and essential human problem.
Interest in Ibsen as a psychologist can too readily obscure other,equally important, sides of his art. His account of human life is froman acute social and conceptual perspective. Perhaps this is the essenceof his art - that which turns it into existential drama exploring manyfacets of life. This concerns everything he wrote, even prior to his emergenceas an international dramatist around 1880.
Henrik Ibsen Essays, Persuasive Essay Topics Grades 3-5, Pro
It is precisely this distance between what they can achieve and whatthey want to achieve that is the cause of the tragic (and in many casesthe comic) aspect of these people's lives. Ibsen felt that this contradictionbetween will and real prospects was at the root of his art. Looking backon 25 years of writing in 1875, he declared that most of what he had writteninvolved "the contradiction between ability and aspiration, betweenwill and possibility". In this conflict he saw "humanity's andthe individual's tragedy and comedy simultaneously." - A decade later,he created the tragicomic constellation of the priest Rosmer and his scruffyteacher Ulrik Brendel. These two men, who are reflections of each other,both end up on the brink of an abyss where all they see is life's totalemptiness and insignificance.