Henrik Ibsen

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Junior J. Villarreal2/3/13
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Johan Ibsen (Norwegian 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder. He is the most frequently performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare, and indeed, A Doll's House is the world's most performed play. Several of his plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theatre was required to model strict morals of family life and propriety. Ibsen's work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. It utilized a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. The poetic and cinematic play Peer Gynt, however, has strong surreal elements. Ibsen is often ranked as one of the truly great playwrights in the European tradition. Richard Hornby describes him as "a profound poetic dramatist the best since Shakespeare". He is widely regarded as the most important playwright since Shakespeare. He influenced other playwrights and novelists such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, James Joyce, and Eugene O'Neill. Henrik Ibsen was also a major poet, and he published a collection of poems in 1871. However, drama was the focus of his real lyrical spirit. For a period of many hard years, he faced bitter opposition. But he finally triumphed over the conservatism and aesthetic prejudices of the contemporary critics and audiences. More than anyone, he gave theatrical art a new vitality by bringing into European bourgeois drama an ethical gravity, a psychological depth, and a social significance which the theater had lacked since the days of...
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