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Justify the title "Ghosts" for Ibsen's play.

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lalu | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted February 6, 2009 at 1:21 AM via web

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Justify the title "Ghosts" for Ibsen's play.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 9, 2009 at 11:27 PM (Answer #1)

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The title has two different meanings in this play. The first meaning relates to the expression "skeletons in the closet." Everyone in the play has a closet filled with skeletons, ghosts of things that they did or were done to them in the past and that haunt them now. Mrs. Alving is haunted by her husband's infidelities. Oswald, too, is haunted by his father's past and by the "legacy" his father left him. Regina, unknown to her at first, is the third victim of Captain Alving's haunting. All three must cope with what being related to that man has done to them.

Another meaning for the title is that, like Oswald, we are ourselves ghosts, just waiting for our deaths. He knows he is going to die, and waiting for death nearly makes him commit suicide.

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