Four Great Plays by Henrik Ibsen
By Henrik Ibsen
(Bantam Classics, Mass Market Paperback, 9780553212808, 384pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 1984
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Here, in a single volume, are four major plays by the first modern playwright, Henrick Ibsen. Ghosts -the startling portrayal of a family destroyed by disease and infidelity. The Wild Duck -- A poignant drama of lost illusions. An Enemy Of The People -- Ibsen's vigorous attack on public opinion. And A Doll's House -- the play that scandalized the Victorian world with its unsparing views of love and marriage, featuring one of the most controversial heroines -- and one of the most famous exists -- in the literature of the stage.
Henrik Johan Ibsen was born in 1828 into a prosperous family which quickly lost almost all of its resources. The subsequent despondency of his parents would later recur in Ibsen's plays, his parents serving as models of human wreckage. After a brief stint with the Norwegian Theater in Bergen, Ibsen moved to Oslo in 1857, married in 1859, and suffered through great financial hardship. Having received little recognition as a playwright, he began a 27-year expatriation in Italy in 1864. Brand(1865), published in Coppenhagen in 1866,was a success, as was Peer Gant(1867). Subsequent plays moved from social satire into a more experimental realm. A Doll's House (1879) and Ghosts (1881) aroused public outcry for their iconoclasm and An Enemy of the People (1882) dealt with the controversy. The Wild Duck(1884) introduced a new naturalistic style, later celebrated by Chekov. Despite his clashes with public opinion, Ibsen returned to Norway in 1891. He died in Oslo in 1906.
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