Date of Award


Document Type



Theatre Arts

First Reader

Professor Dennis Holt


Although the Norwegian Dramatist Henrik Ibsen is a century removed from the happenings of the present day, the themes with which he dealt within his plays are relevant to today's situations. This "father of modern drama" might possibly be called "the originator of the women's liberation movement" with the revolutionary ideas he presented to the 19th century in his play A Doll's House. Ibsen was even aware of the generation gap-a fact that is evident in his plays dealing with relations between parents and children.

Arthur Miller summed up the source of Ibsen's success in the following quote: "There is one quality in Ibsen that no serious writer can afford to overlook. It lies at the very center of his force, and I found in it--as I hope others will--a profound source of strength. It is his insistence, his utter conviction, that he is going to say what he has to say, and that the audience, by God, is going to listen. It is the very same quality that makes a star actor, a great public speaker and a lunatic. Every Ibsen play begins with the unwritten words: 'Now listen here!'"

The works of Ibsen, the master of discussion, fall neatly into three distinct periods which will be discussed within this paper. Ibsen, as a chief example of the modern drama of ideas, had a marked influence on the modern trends in play writing when he dared to break with centuries old play writing traditions.

Included in

Playwriting Commons



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