With an Introduction by Ellen Rees, Centre for Ibsen Studies, University of Oslo.
The plays of Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) are critically acclaimed throughout the world. The father of modern drama, Ibsen broke with theatrical conventions and created a more realistic form of drama that used the stage as a forum for debating social problems, notably the rights of the individual, and the damaging effects of orthodoxy. This collection of four plays contains, A Doll's House (1879) and Hedda Gabler (1890), his most striking depictions of the struggle by individuals especially women to realize their full potential; it also presents Peer Gynt (1867), an early verse tour-de-force, not originally intended for the stage, on the nature of the self, and The Master Builder (1892), a play that explores the clash between the old and the new in richly metaphorical language. This collection returns to the acclaimed translations of William Archer (1856-1924), who through these renditions played a major role in promoting Ibsen's reputation outside Norway. Archer was also a critic, who with actress Elizabeth Robbins and dramatist George Bernard Shaw was central in the modernisation of English theatre.