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Ibsen the Iconoclast

Lisa VanDamme

Presented at: OCON 2009

Date: Jul 03, 2009

Ibsen is known as an iconoclast, an idol-smasher, who challenged traditional views of class, of government, of marriage—of morality. His plays, scandalous in their time, have gone on to immense, worldwide popularity, second only to Shakespeare in frequency of performance.

Ibsen’s plays dramatize the clash between the free-thinking individual and conventional society: whether a doctor upholding his own judgment against community-wide pressure to conform (in An Enemy of the People), an independent woman rebelling against the conventional role of a wife and mother (in A Doll’s House), or a priest intransigently devoted to a god-given mission scorned by society (in Brand).

In this course Ms. VanDamme discusses Ibsen and three of his plays, sharing the fascinating story of Ibsen’s life; emphasizing that which illuminates the philosophy conveyed in his work; discussing the plot, characterization and theme of each play; and demonstrating that Ibsen’s plays are rich with inspiration.


Parts: 4

Handout: none


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