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Shaw liked best about Ibsen what others abhorred — his daring discussion of moral issues — and thought of him as a fellow propagandist for all radical causes.

Ibsen, he felt, had brought critical thought back to the theatre and should be seen as the founder of the New Drama. Shaw was not alone. There are corrupt politicians, complacent priests and fatuous husbands. Ibsen, they argue, belongs with high-minded realists such as George Eliot, not with formally innovative Modernists such as Joyce. Originally a radical doctrine held by Romantics such as Schiller and Shelley, idealism lingered on after Romanticism and ossified into an aesthetic and moral conservatism. Idealists objected to the depiction of broken marriages and corrupt politicians, because they believed that art should disregard imperfection and aspire to ideals.

Like Ibsen, they took art to have a serious moral and political purpose; but the purpose, they believed, had to do with formulating lofty ideals, not delivering ruthless critiques. Ibsen, to them, was simply muck-raking. This conservative brand of idealism spread not so much among philosophers and serious intellectuals as among reviewers, opinion makers and journalists — precisely those who attacked Ibsen most vehemently.

Moi shows that this idealism was embodied by the Nobel Prize committee during its first decade of existence. No wonder he sought to engage with idealism more and more explicitly by depicting idealist characters in his work. His most programmatic anti-idealist play is The Wild Duck , in which the spoiled son of an industrialist wreaks havoc in the family of his friend with manifestos and speeches reeking of high ideals.

Another facet of idealism was its rejection of daily routine and the ordinariness of existence. In play after play, Ibsen created characters who reject the everyday, and showed that this rejection leads to certain destruction. For an idealist, however, suicide has to be a beautiful act, and so she contemplates and then executes the most ideal form imaginable: a clean, heroic shot through the head. But there are other pleasing forms of suicide, too. The Master Builder climbs a tall building, despite his vertigo, in order to fall to a dramatic death.

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Rebecca, in Rosmersholm , plans to kill herself for the man she loves until they decide that a double suicide would be even better. Surrounded by idealists in life, Ibsen killed them off in his plays.

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Whether Ibsen got rid of idealism along with the idealists is another matter. The best example is Hedda Gabler, whose alternative to suicide is life with a dreary husband-scholar who, rather like Casaubon in Middlemarch , uses their honeymoon to do some research into the handicrafts of Brabant during the Middle Ages. Moi shows that Ibsen wanted to expose idealism as the retrograde ideology it had become, but could not quite bring himself to complete the task.

He remained too attached to his heroic protagonists, even or especially when he staged their deaths, almost compulsively, in play after play. From the late 19th century, he was championed by every European director and actor of note. The Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, for example, used Ibsen to demonstrate his new method of presenting vivid crowd scenes on stage, which became the rage across Europe. To help his actors merge with their roles, Stanislavsky even imported Norwegian furniture at considerable cost.

Even the ageing superstar Sarah Bernhardt appeared in Lady from the Sea in It first appeared anonymously in the satirical magazine Andhrimner.

Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy

Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Bowdoin College. Archived from the original on 12 December Retrieved 27 March The Flower and the Castle. Schocken, The Guardian. Ibsen occasionally used some Norwegianisms in his early work, but he wrote his later works in a more standardised Danish, as his plays were published by a Danish publisher and marketed to both Norwegian and Danish audiences in the original Danish.

Haugen, Einar Ibsen's Drama: Author to Audience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. Henrick Ibsen. Chapter one. Henrik Ibsen: life and drama. Northfield, Minnesota: St. Henrik Ibsen , Chapter one. Henrik Ibsen. Chapters corresponding to individual early plays. Divine Madness and the Absurd Paradox. Retrieved 8 February NYU Press. Retrieved 26 August Archived from the original on 10 November Archived from the original on 27 December Retrieved 21 December The Hindu. Chennai, India. Ibsen in America: A Century of Change.

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Scarecrow Press. Retrieved 28 January Store norske leksikon. A Critical Biography , Chicago: A. K, Henrik Ibsen i sin avstamning. Norsk eller fremmed? Delphin Den kongelige norske Sankt Olavs Orden — in Norwegian.

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The Life of Henrik Ibsen. London: William Heinemann. Retrieved 4 April Ibsen's Women. Cambridge University Press.

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National Library of Norway. Retrieved 13 April Digte " Terje Vigen ". Henrik Ibsen 's family. Associated subjects. Henrik Ibsen 's A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen 's Hedda Gabler Henrik Ibsen 's Peer Gynt Per Gynt Jo Gjende. Peer Gynt Egk opera Peer Gynt play. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikisource. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Suzannah Thoresen m. Knud Ibsen father Marichen Altenburg mother.

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Henrik Ibsen — , merchant in Skien [ citation needed ]. Birgitte Holtermann — [ citation needed ]. Henrich Ibsen — , ship's captain and merchant in Skien [ citation needed ]. Giert Andersen Dishington — [ citation needed ]. Wenche Dishington — [ citation needed ]. Margrethe Jansen Forman [ citation needed ]. Knud Ibsen — , merchant in Skien [ citation needed ]. Knud Plesner — , ship's captain and merchant in Skien [ citation needed ]. Karen Cathrine Hind — [ citation needed ]. Johanne Cathrine Plesner — married to shipowner Ole Paus in her second marriage from [ citation needed ].

Nicolai Kall — , merchant in Skien [ citation needed ]. Maria Kall — [ citation needed ]. Elisabeth Marie Bomhoff — [ citation needed ]. Jochum Altenburg — [ citation needed ]. Diderik Altenburg, manager of Ulefos Saugbrug [ citation needed ]. Johan Andreas Altenburg — , merchant and former ship's captain in Skien [ citation needed ]. Marichen Johansdatter Barth. Dorothea Ruhland [ citation needed ]. Marichen Cornelia Martine Altenburg — [ citation needed ]. Paul Paus — , lawyer and acting district judge [ citation needed ].

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