Henrik Ibsen and his Modern age dramas or the ‘drama of ideas that you must know
Do you know that Henrik Ibsen is blessed with the title of the Father of Modern Drama? But why is it so?
Ibsen was originally a Norwegian playwright who changed the entire concept of drama in the History of Drama. So, it can be said that he revolutionized the entire concept of drama. There was a point of time when drama was receiving so many difficulties, he single-handedly tried to maintain the glory of drama by introducing different subjects that needed a lot of attention from the society. He wrote dramas that are very much needed for the awakening of the mass so that they can seriously think about the problems around them. One thing we should remember is that he always wrote under the pseudonym of ‘Brynjolf Bjarme’. Now, let’s focus on some of his most significant dramas which are called the ‘drama of ideas’ –
A Doll’s House (1879)
This is the play which expresses the condition of women in society. The women have very little place outside the household, and they were treated like a commodity of the house. In this aspect the title is absolutely appropriate. It also talks about the marital roles which are assigned to a woman in a stereotypical patriarchal society. The protagonist Nora has realized after her eight years of marriage that she has pretended to be the that the society expects from her. Overall, it is an important piece of work for feminist literature.
This play deals with some avoided and mostly prohibited subjects like incestuous relationship, venereal disease and the conflict of religion. Helen Alving raised her son with so much love, care and protection; still her son Oswald inherits Syphilis, a venereal disease from his father. As the play goes on, he falls in love with his half-sister. Later, he asked his mother to give him the overdose of morphine just to avoid the excessive pain of the disease. Throughout her life, she has fulfilled all his wishes but now she is facing an existential question.
The Wild Duck (1884)
This is considered as one of the masterpieces in the genre of tragicomedy. It talks about the story of Gregers Werle was reunited with his friend Ekdal, after returning from exile. Then he came to know about the harsh realities of his friend’s apparently happy life. This play is also one of the most critically acclaimed plays of Ibsen.
Finally, we want to end the discussion with Nora’s realization in The Doll’s House–
“You have never loved me. You have only thought it pleasant to be in love with me.”